Men caught on CCTV shocked to be linked with pensioner theft
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 January 2020
Two men arrested after the theft of a large quantity of cash from a pensioner have spoken of their shock at being linked to the crime.
Osman Salimov, 34, and Salim Baranov, 25, appeared in CCTV images released by police following the theft from a man aged in his 90s in Market Place, Diss, on December 10.
The men, who both work at Pizza House in Eye, were subsequently identified and arrested, but not charged. They were later told that police will not be taking any further action against them.
Mr Baranov was arrested at work but Mr Salimov was on a family holiday in Bulgaria when he discovered his picture had been released and he was wanted by police.
He said: "I had flown to Bulgaria the day the police came for a holiday that I had booked three months before. I didn't know anything about it until my friend saw it on social media and he showed me.
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"When I saw my picture I was really shocked and worried. It was my children's birthday, but I could not do anything with the family. It was too much stress; my blood pressure went up and I had to go to hospital."
On his return he contacted police and was arrested and interviewed. "I was held for eight hours while they questioned me. It was very scary," he said.
"We are not guilty but still on social media people are sharing the picture and saying that we are."
Pizza House co-owner Turan Cilfaoglu said he had contacted police himself after seeing the CCTV image but that the men had been rushing through Diss at the time because they were late for work.
"The CCTV picture was picked up on social media very quickly and we had young people coming into the shop and taking pictures and saying they must be guilty," he said.
"Some of the comments on social media have been really bad. It has not been very nice at all. People should realise that there has been a mistake and the police have said there will be no further investigation."
The case has been closed due to insufficient evidence. A Norfolk Police spokesman said: "Following an investigation into the incident, police have decided that no further action will be taken against the two men."