Dorset family appeal to missing armed Nicholas Crocker

Missing Weymouth man Nicholas Crocker
Image caption Nicholas Crocker is believed to still be in the Weymouth area

The family of a missing Dorset man thought to be armed with a pistol have appealed for him to get in touch.

Nicholas Crocker, 55, from Weymouth, was reported missing just after 09:00 BST on Wednesday. He was last seen at 06:30 BST that morning.

He is a licenced firearms holder and police believe he is in possession of a pistol usually used to kill animals.

Dorset Police said they were "extremely concerned" for his safety but added he was not a risk to the public.

On Tuesday night officers visited Mr Crocker, a professional gamekeeper, to follow up an inquiry about a minor theft in Weymouth on 16 September.

Police believe he may be missing as a result of that inquiry.

'Really worried'

Mr Crocker's step daughter, Kate Wills, 37, described him as a "homebird", adding: "Come home we're all really worried about you.

"It's a minor thing and everything can be sorted."

Police said Mr Crocker, who is believed to still be in the Weymouth area, has no history of violence and is a well respected member of the community.

His sister Jenny Crocker, 46, said: "It's just so out of character. I don't think he'd deliberately put his family through this."

Police and Dorset Search and Rescue have been searching land around the Hardy Monument in Blackdown and the Dorchester Road area of Chickerell.

They have not yet had any definite sightings of Mr Crocker.

'Not approached'

Mr Crocker is white, between 5ft 7ins and 5ft 8ins tall and of a stocky build.

He has receding white or grey hair, white stubble, a tattoo of antlers on the back of one hand and on one forearm.

When he was last seen, he was wearing green camouflage trousers and T-shirt, a navy blue fleece and black boots.

He favours the countryside and was described by Ms Crocker as "very self reliant". It is thought he could fend for himself in the countryside for some time.

Supt Mike Rogers said: "I would like to reiterate that while there is absolutely no suggestion of any risk to members of the public, we would still ask that Nicholas is not approached.

"Any sightings of a man fitting his description should be reported to Dorset Police urgently."

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