THIEVES took advantage of an open display at a museum to steal some of the equipment put on show for people to touch.
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery, in Priestgate, central Peterborough, had the items on display as part of its Call to Arms exhibition, an event designed to explore Peterborough's military history.
Thieves have now ruined the display by stealing a sword and a tin helmet that was part of the exhibition.
Stuart Orme, spokesman for the museum, said: "We have had a couple of items stolen from our exhibition. We have replica items which people can handle and these have obviously been taken.
"It is difficult to monitor people all the time during the exhibition but we believe it happened some time on Sunday afternoon.
"It is very frustrating because we put a lot of work into preparing displays. A few people are just spoiling it for the vast majority and it deprives some people of experiencing what is on display.
"We are now looking to replace the stolen equipment."
The first item taken was a replica tin helmet similar to the ones soldiers wore during the First World War, and the second item was a sword. Both exhibits were part of the body armour on a manikin, similar to those worn by soldiers in Roman times.
Staff at the museum say the objects were taken from the front hallway, and that CCTV footage from the museum has now been passed to police in a bid to catch the rogues.
A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: "As the stolen objects are unusual, police are requesting that anyone who knows the whereabouts of these objects to contact the police or museum with any information."
The exhibition means members of the public can come face to face with Roman soldiers, Viking warriors and experience First World War trenches. There are also interactive displays and costumes to try on.