A restaurateur's bust was pinched by pranksters in the middle of the night.

The statue of proprietor Jane Bom-Bane holding a revolving tray had become a local landmark outside Bom Banes restaurant in George Street, Brighton.

Handcrafted by the creator of the original Star Wars R2D2, Jane’s bust had been in pride of place perched above the window of the Kemp Town restaurant for five-and-a-half years.

However early on Saturday morning (December 1) the bust was unbolted from its bracket and the electrical cables wrenched from the wall.

The distraught restaurateur said: “It is very sad.

“I feel like my alter ego has been snatched.

“It has no use or value to anyone else, but it is a part of us.

Breaking noise

“My brother-in-law John Jostins who made the original R2D2 made it and a local girl Melanie Pellett had just made a new tray for her as part of her art course.

“Neighbours heard a kerfuffle and a breaking sound, then they heard voices retreating. Then someone saying ‘you could get that’, and they came back.

“She was bolted to the ledge so they much have climbed up and unbolted her and pulled the wires that power the light and rotating tray straight out of the wall. It was obviously just a prank – a trophy to steal, but it is very upsetting for us.”

The thieves are believed to have made off in the direction of St James’ Street at some point between 1.30am and 3.30am on Saturday, December 1.

Sussex Police are investigating the theft and Jane is appealing for help from anyone who saw her unusual sculpture being carted away to come forward to help police pinpoint the exact time of the crime and track down the thieves on CCTV.

Have you seen Jane’s statue?

Anyone with any information on her whereabouts can call The Argus newsroom on 01273 544519.

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