Stolen 'celebrity' Doncaster gnome returns - after wandering off to the seaside

A police officer with the gnome.
A police officer with the gnome.

A 'celebrity' gnome popular with shoppers in Doncaster town centre that was stolen has now been returned - after going on a wander to the seaside!

Gnorman, who sports a red hat, white beard, blue coat, green belt and black boots, was taken from outside the Anarchy hair salon in Priory Walk in February.

Salon staff with the gnome. Tracy is pictured on the far right.

Salon staff with the gnome. Tracy is pictured on the far right.

It is thought the 3ft statue was stolen and then sold on to a man in Doncaster who took it on several trips with him on holiday over the summer to Skegness.

The buyer had unwittingly purchased the gnome not knowing it had been taken.

It was only after reading a story in the Doncaster Free Press from earlier this year that he realised he had bought a stolen item.

He returned it to the hair salon a couple of weeks ago and it now sits pride of place again at the front of the premises.

Skegness Pier. Picture: MOTORAL1987

Skegness Pier. Picture: MOTORAL1987

The gnome is popular with families who often stop by to have their picture taken with it - and staff are particularly pleased he is back just in time for the festive season so they can dress him up as Father Christmas - an annual tradition.

Shop owner Tracy Grayson, aged 47, of Kirk Sandall, said: "He has been on quite a journey!

"He had a partially broken ear so it looks like he has been on quite a few drunken nights on the coast.

"But we are glad to have him back, its like having a member of family back."

She added that the man who bought the stolen item did not want to give his name but dropped the statue off at the end of October.

"The gnome has become a bit of a celebrity so when the man read about it in the paper he said he had to bring it back.

"I think he was getting a bit of grief from people aswell when he showed them the gnome as they recognised it from outside the shop."

The Doncaster Central Nieghbourhood Policing Team also posted a picture of an officer with the gnome on their Facebook page and said: "We are now pleased to announce that after a summer's break in Skegness, Gnorman has been returned anonymously.

"He is currently recovering from his trip but will be fit to be dressed up over Christmas. Welcome back."

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said a man has been arrested in connection with the theft.