A man who spent almost 40 years building up a Star Wars collection worth £50,000 says he is devastated after burglars stole almost all the items.

Chris Lupton, 46, of Dewsbury , was on holiday in Poole, Dorset, with his bride-to-be, Laura Barber, when the burglars struck.

Detectives in Dewsbury are now appealing for information after the Star Wars memorabilia was stolen.

They say the items were stolen from the property in Moor Park Garden, between Sunday, April 10, and Tuesday, April 19, while Chris and Laura were away.

Mr Lupton, who runs an American diner in Morley, said: “I began collecting in 1977. I wanted to be a Storm Trooper!

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“I feel bad about it because I didn’t discover what had happened for two days.

“My collection really took off in the late 1980s.

“I owned at least 700 items and I wouldn’t like to have to buy it back. I have around 20 items out on loan. I didn’t want them just stuck in a box.

Picture by Christopher Lipton/Guzelian Christopher Lupton, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, has had his £50,000 Star Wars collection stolen from his home. He started the collection in 1977 and manage to get his hands on many rare items, which he stored in a hidden area in his house. Pictured: One of the ransacked rooms in his home, where thieves removed all the items from wardrobe and cupboards. WORDS BY GUZELIAN

“I suspect that whoever carried out this burglary had inside knowledge as they were fairly inaccessible unless you knew where they were.”

A large number of items were stolen during the incident, including a large amount of specialist Star Wars memorabilia that had been collected by the victim over a number of years.

Items stolen include Star Wars Village sets, vehicles, characters and main ships with fighter figures inside, along with around 300 character figurines.

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Of particular note is a Darth Vader model. The majority of the missing items are from series one and two, and are in new in the boxes.

PC Simon Reddington of Kirklees CID said: “Due to the vast number of items taken, a large vehicle will most likely have been used by those responsible.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in and around the area during the period in which the burglary occurred and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to come forward.

Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian Christopher Lupton of Dewsbury, West yorkshire, who has had £50,000 worth of Star Wars memorabilia stolen from his home. PICTURED: The remains of the collection WORDS BY GUZELIAN PICTURE TAKEN ON MONDAY 16 MAY 2016.

“The items stolen are clearly of considerable sentimental and financial value to the victim who has collected the memorabilia over a number of years.

“I would appeal to anyone who has seen these items for sale, either online or locally, or who has been invited to buy them to come speak to the police. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Information can be passed to PC Simon Reddington at Kirklees CID via 101, or by contacting the independent crime fighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.