Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Degas, Curtain Falls on 2009 !!!

Degas painting stolen from French museum

AFP - Thieves stole a valuable painting by 19th century artist Edgar Degas overnight from a French museum, police said Thursday.

The colourful image of singers performing on a theatre stage was missing when staff opened up the Cantini Museum in the southern port city of Marseille, prosecutor Jacques Dallest said.

The national museums service said the picture was a pastel work titled "The Chorus", worth 800,000 euros (1.14 million dollars), correcting an estimate given by local police that it was worth some 30 million euros.

Loaned by the Orsay museum in Paris for an exhibition featuring some 20 works by Degas, it measures 32 centimetres by 27 (about 13 inches by 10). Dallest said it had been unscrewed from the wall.

"As far as I know there was no break-in," Dallest said, adding that investigators suspected an intruder, a visitor to the exhibition or an inside job.

City councillor Maurice Di Nocera, responsible for organising major events in Marseille, called the theft "a disaster for the museum."

The museum was closed Thursday while police pursued their investigations, including examining film from security cameras.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Johnson Family, Police Chief's View !!!!

In the final part of a series of articles to mark the retirement of Chief Constable Tim Brain, the top officer looks back on two of his proudest achievements.

THE notorious Johnson family were brought to justice as a result of one of Dr Brain's first moves when he took the top job in Gloucestershire.

He created dedicated units to tackle organised and serious crime and it eventually led to the collapse of the family crime gangs from Cheltenham.

"That enabled us to tackle the serious and organised criminals – the middle managers of crime – the people who have bases in our community but who can operate at cross border level.

"It enabled us to chip away for a long time at the Johnsons. Operation Haul is quite rightly seen as a catalyst – an iconic investigation but there had been a lot of taking out of bricks of the wall of that organised crime group for several years to that point.

"What we were able to do with Operation Haul – because they had been operating across a lot of Southern England – was to work with other forces to achieve a comprehensive interdiction and to really smash open or smash up the core of the group.

"That was an iconic moment – it was the culmination of what we had been building for several years."

Sadly the hole left by the Johnsons will probably soon be filled, said the Chief.

"There will always be the opportunity for those individuals and those groups to exist because nature abhors a vacuum – people will come in behind it and that's why it's really important that we keep up our guard."

In 2005/6, Dr Brain fought off proposals to merge the Gloucestershire force into a big regional constabulary.

"The reason we were able to avoid being amalgamated was because we were able to demonstrate that we had what many forces don't have – this specialist investigative capacity to take on serious and organised criminals.

"We invested in that – other people have caught up, but we invested early as a small force and that was critical that we could demonstrate that we could tackle these groups.

"We have talked about the Johnsons but there are others who are the local gang masters, the local drug bosses, and we've taken them out like PJ Maguire – people who thought they were untouchable found themselves in prison."

Dr Brain says the search for millions of pounds of antiques stolen by the Johnsons from stately homes will continue.

Recovering the Johnsons' tangible assets is a straightforward process, said Dr Brain, but the stolen loot is a different matter. Some of this may be in a hole in the ground – alternatively it's been moved on through the system of fences."

Another major investigation involved former Gloucester grammar school pupil Sajid Badat who had been plotting a terrorist attack.

"The most important thing to feel about that is that was a professional investigation of high national importance that was successfully managed by ourselves and by the national counter terrorist units – it was a very successful operation.

"I think it said so much for our community based policing and the support we received from our community that we were able as a city centre Gloucester community to come through that stronger. People were shocked and took a long time to reconcile themselves to what was happening, but that's the nature of terrorism."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Pink Panthers Due For Release !!!!!

A Belgrade court has jailed three Serb members of the so-called Pink Panther gang for a record-breaking jewel robbery in 2004, Beta news agency reports.

The gang has been blamed for robberies around the globe.

The court on Friday found the three guilty of stealing almost 22 million euros (about $A35 million) of jewellery in Tokyo on March 5, 2004, the report said.

The stash included a necklace worth more than 18.7 million euros (about $A30 million) and has not been recovered.

Aleksandar Radulovic was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison, Djordje Rasovic to six years and three months, while Snezana Panajotovic was given two years and 10 months.

They were ordered to return the 125-carat necklace and other jewellery or jointly pay 3.5 billion yen ($A43.9 million) in compensation.

It was the second trial for the defendants, who had been acquitted by Serbia's Supreme Court on appeal.

Judge Milena Rasic said Radulovic and Rasovic used force during the robbery while Panajotovic held a guard in front of the Tokyo store.

The three were arrested in Belgrade in 2005 on an international warrant. A trial was held in Serbia following an agreement with Japan. A fourth suspect, a British woman, was not on trial in Belgrade.

The international police agency Interpol set up a Pink Panther cell in July 2007 to coordinate the hunt for the gang and there have been a number of arrests.

In June, police in Montenegro arrested another member of the gang, which is believed to number about 60 people from the former Yugoslavia. Two other suspects were arrested in Paris in May.

The group got its Pink Panther nickname from the British police after finding a diamond ring hidden in a jar of face cream, as in the 1963 Pink Panther movie starring Peter Sellers.

Other Pink Panther robberies are believed to have been carried out in the United States, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Monaco, France, Germany and Switzerland. They have been blamed for robberies involving goods worth 110 million euros ($A178 million) during the past decade.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, For Stolen Art, Head to London and Brighton !!!!

Leeds friend's favour for 'an old-style villain'

A PENSIONER agreed to cash a "dodgy" cheque for a friend despite knowing he was an "old style villain" with a shady record.
Brian Kenny, 70, denied money laundering even though he admitted he put a cheque for £10,000 through his own bank account for pal Graham Harkin, who gave him a £200 gift for the favour.

He was found guilty at Leeds Crown Courtand will be sentenced in February.

It later emerged the money had come from the sale of a rare antique "Voysey" table worth £120,000, which had been stolen from a Leeds stately home.

Harkin, 54, is currently serving a three-year sentence for his part in the burglary at Lotherton Hall in late 2006.

At his trial this week, married Kenny, a self-confessed dabbler in buying and selling antiques and bric-a-brac, denied knowing or even suspecting that the money had come from criminal activity.

The court heard Kenny had agreed to pay the £10,000 cheque, made out in his name, into his bank account as a favour for Harkin, whom he had known for about 10 years.

A few days later he withdrew the full amount and arranged to meet Harkin at a pub in Cleckheaton, where he handed the cash over in a jiffy bag.

Harkin then gave Kenny £200, the jury was told, and told him to have a drink.

Prosecutor Georgina Coade said: "He (Kenny) knew, or at least would have suspected, that that money would have represented the proceeds of criminal conduct –very basically, the money was dodgy."

The court heard the stolen table was later sold by a man claiming to be "Brian from up North" to an antique dealer based in the south of England.

The court was told that there was no suggestion Kenny was the man who had sold the table, and it was likely to be Graham Harkin, posing as Kenny, who did the deed.

However the real Kenny had earlier told police Harkin was an "old style villain" but someone he trusted because "his word was his bond".

Speaking from the witness box, the retired builder, who lives with his wife in Cleckheaton, said: "The cheque was in my name as he (Harkin) had explained he did not have a bank account himself.

"It were a cheque. It were going through my account. I really didn't think that he would do that to me.

"I never saw him involved in criminal activity in the time I have known him apart from him being arrested for stealing the table. He came across as likeable. His word was his bond."

Asked why he had referred to Harkin as an "old style villain" if not in a criminal context, he said: "I could just as well have said he was a dodgy character.
"I suppose like anybody he has little things as his employment is concerned, like a lot of people on building sites they have little ways of doing things. I didn't know him as dishonest. I didn't think of it that way.

"He asked me to cash a cheque, I said I would do it, without even thinking about it.

"But I didn't think Graham Harkin would have asked me in a million years to cash a cheque that would have led police to my door. I trusted his ways.

"There is no way I would put a cheque for stolen property through my account.

"I just wouldn't do it."

He claimed Harkin had later phoned him from prison asking him to trace the name and address of the antique dealer who had issued the cheque.

The court heard that Kenny had earlier admitted to police he knew "a lot of criminal people" and was frightened of some of them.

Kenny, a retired builder, denied one charge of converting criminal property

Stolen Barnstaple spoons are found in London

A collection of silver spoons stolen from Barnstaple museum in the summer have been recovered from a business premises in London.

The 10 historic spoons, worth approximately £20,000, were taken from a display cabinet at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon on July 31.

The silver and silver gilt antiques were crafted in the town in the 16th and 17th centuries and were donated to the museum by Keith Abraham.

WPC Shaunaugh Cobb at Barnstaple Police Station said it was a good example of positive police work and how they were in process of ensuring the spoons were returned to Barnstaple.

"This crime was particularly upsetting for the staff and volunteers at the museum, now the spoons can be returned and enjoyed again by members of the public," she said.

"The investigation involved a lot of work with outside agencies in the arts and antiques world, the Metropolitan Police and co-operation from the museum."

After the theft North Devon Council, the insurers and North Devon Theatres Trust offered a reward of up to £2,000 for information leading to the arrest and trial of anyone responsible.

Police have said the rare spoons were found at a business premises in London, but no further details are available at this time as inquiries are continuing.

Alison mills, curator at the museum, is delighted with the outcome:

"This is a great result for the museum and we had given up hope of ever seeing the spoons again," she said.

"They were generously given to the museum by Keith Abraham, and we are really looking forward to putting the spoons back on display so local people can enjoy them once more as he intended.

"It was lucky for us that the spoons are so easily recognisable, and we are grateful to the sharp eyes of the antiques trade.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Da Vinci Madonna Treated Like Mona Lisa !!

The Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece has gone back on display to the public in Edinburgh

A painting by Leonardo da Vinci has gone back on display in Scotland six years after it was stolen.

The Madonna with the Yardwinder was taken from the Duke of Buccleuch's home at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire in August 2003.

It was recovered in Glasgow in 2007 and has now been loaned to the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh where it has been put back on display.

Eight men have been charged in connection with the theft.

The artwork has an estimated value of £30m and is the only Leonardo painting in Scotland.

Painted in oils on a small panel, the work depicts the Madonna with the infant Jesus and a cross-shaped, wooden yarnwinder.

Other artists

Experts believe it was created between 1500 and 1510 for Florimond Robertet, a trusted minister and diplomat of the King of France, who had close ties to Italy.

Leonardo had a poor record when it came to completing his works and the extent of his direct involvement in the painting is the subject of much debate.

Art specialists have said the overall design, the figures and the rocks in the foreground are his but the background landscape was probably added or completed by another artist.

The painting was featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery back in 1992.

A spokeswoman said the gallery was delighted the painting could go back on display.
Art Hostage Comments:
The Da Vinci Madonna is Scotland's own Mona Lisa and accordingly it is only fitting to be displayed in the National Gallery

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stolen Art Watch,The Johnsons, Slow Motion Attempted Recovery !!!!

Johnson family back in court

DETAILS of "extraordinarily rare" antiques stolen from stately homes by a notorious criminal family were revealed at a court hearing today.

The Johnson clan were jailed for up to 11 years each last year for their roles in stealing from stately homes in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire.

The Crown Prosecution Service is trying to recover millions of pounds the family gained in the year-long spree of burglaries.

A confiscation hearing at Reading Crown Court was told items stolen in the burglaries included “the finest barometer ever made” and “extraordinarily rare” clocks.

The gang, including Ricky Johnson, 55, his sons Richard and Albi and a nephew, plotted the high-value raids while based at a static caravan park in Evesham, Worcestershire.

Ricky Johnson was sentenced to eight years, while his son Richard "Chad" Johnson, 34, and nephew Daniel O'Loughlin, 33, were jailed for 11 years each.

Michael Nicholls, 30, the partner of Ricky Johnson's daughter Faye, was given 10 years, while the youngest gang member, 27-year-old Albi Johnson, was jailed for nine years.

All were found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary between April 8, 2005 and October 13, 2006 following a month-long trial at Reading Crown Court.

The hearing was adjourned part-heard and will not resume until April 26.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Sculptures Stolen, But Will They Be Melted ????

Bronze statues stolen from Wentworth Estate home

December 15, 2009

FOUR valuable bronze statues were stolen from the garden of a property on the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water.

The statues, of varying size and shape, were taken by four men travelling in a white Citroen van, Surrey Police said.

The theft took place on Saturday (December 12) between 9am and 9.45am.

Detective Constable Simon Egan said: “These statues are extremely distinguishable pieces of art and of very high value.

“These items are very large and would have taken some time to remove from the property.

“I am sure someone will have seen something suspicious even if they had not realised it at the time.

“It is also likely that someone will come across these items, either through someone they know or in other circumstances.”

Anyone with any information on the thefts is asked to contact Surrey Police on 0845 125 2222, quoting reference RM/09/7981, or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Monday, December 14, 2009

Notorious Cheltenham crime gang in court

Monday, December 14, 2009, 17:31

A legal bid was launched today to recover some of the millions of pounds gained by a notorious criminal family in a string of raids on stately homes.

The group, all part of the same notorious traveller family, were jailed for up to 11 years each in January 2008 for their roles in the crimes, which included Britain’s biggest burglary.

They stole antiques worth millions of pounds from wealthy homes in Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Worcestershire in a year-long spree.

They appeared at Reading Crown Court today for the beginning of a week-long confiscation hearing that could see them having to pay back some of the money.

Simon Burns, prosecuting, described the Johnsons as a “professional, criminal family team”, and added that “they were all operating as a joint team, and benefiting as a joint team”.

He said they each had different roles to play in the raids but had joint control, and told the court: “They didn’t want outsiders.”

Their targets included Ramsbury Manor, the Wiltshire mansion of property tycoon Harry Hyams, where they stole property worth millions in a raid described later as the UK’s biggest private house burglary.

Other victims included Formula One motor racing advertising tycoon Paddy McNally and Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire Sir Philip Wroughton.

When police arrested the gang, they estimated the total haul was worth £30 million.

Richard “Chad” Johnson, 34, and Daniel O’Loughlin, 33, were both jailed for 11 years, Michael Nicholls, 30, was given 10 years, Albi Johnson, 27, was jailed for nine years and 55-year-old Ricky Johnson was given eight years.

Ricky Johnson is the father of Chad and Albi and O’Loughlin is his nephew. Nicholls was the partner of his daughter, Faye. The family were based at a static caravan park in Evesham, Worcestershire, where they plotted the high-value raids.

They were all found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary between April 8 2005 and October 13 2006 following a month-long trial at Reading Crown Court.

A valuations expert is due to give evidence to the hearing on Wednesday, the court was told.

Other members of the Johnson family watched proceedings from the public gallery this afternoon, shouting messages of support to their relatives as they entered the dock.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Operation Haul gang due at Crown Court

December 11, 2009

Five people jailed as part of Operation Haul – a crackdown on a gang fleecing country estates and who targeted cashpoints in West Berkshire – are due in Reading Crown Court next week for a financial confiscation hearing.

The hearing before His Honour Judge Christopher Critchlow is due to start on Monday and is listed to last for a week.

Gloucestershire men Danny O’Loughlin, Ricky Johnson, Richard ‘Chad’ Johnson, Michael Nicholls and Albie Johnson were part of a group who were jailed for a total of nearly 50 years for their part in a series of country house burglaries in the south of England and metal and ATM thefts.

They were convicted of conspiracy to burgle at Reading Crown Court on February 11, 2008.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Drouot Auction House, Foxes Guarding the Hen House !!!!!

Preliminary charges have been filed against nine employees of Paris' respected Drouot auction house after police found stolen art, including a painting by 19th-century realist master Gustave Courbet, prosecutors said Monday

Preliminary charges have been filed against nine employees of Paris' respected Drouot auction house after police found stolen art, including a painting by 19th-century realist master Gustave Courbet, prosecutors said Monday.

An auctioneer and eight commission agents were given preliminary charges, including "organized theft," the prosecutor's office said.

Three others detained last week in the police raids on Drouot, its warehouses and homes of employees were released with no charges filed against them.

When the bust was announced last week, there was initial confusion about which Courbet work had been recovered. The painting - stolen several years ago from a collection whose owner had recently died - was not clearly identified, and the heir had confused it with another work, an official close to the inquiry said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

Police initially identified the recovered Courbet work as "La Vague" (The Wave), worth euro900,000 ($1.3 million), but officials said Monday it was actually "Paysage marin sous un ciel d'orage" (Marine Landscape Under a Stormy Sky), worth about euro100,000.

The stolen Courbet - one of several paintings by the convention-smashing realist master with a stormy ocean theme - was found at the home of one of the commission agents being investigated. Other pieces recovered in the sweep included artworks, frames and furniture.

Under French law, preliminary charges give the judge more time to investigate and determine whether to send the case to trial. Three commission agents were jailed in the case, with the prosecutor's office accusing them of deep involvement in thefts dating back to 2001.

The auctioneer was released pending the investigation with the stipulation that he stop hosting sales.

Drouot is a large auction house in a sprawling 19th-century building in central Paris. It auctions fine art and antiquities, as well as such objects as pieces of the Eiffel Tower and mime Marcel Marceau's top hat.

Associated Press Writer Jean-Pierre Verges contributed to this report

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Italy, Parmalat Tanzi Masterpieces Discovered, Paris, Dalrymple Dares To "Wave"

Mark Dalrymple Orders 12 detained in Paris over stolen painting
By JEAN-PIERRE VERGES (AP) – 2 days ago

PARIS — French police detained 12 people in a sweep of a respected Paris auction house Wednesday after finding a stolen Courbet painting worth euro900,000 ($1.3 million) at an employee's house.

Police raids on the Hotel Drouot, its warehouses and homes of employees uncovered other small artworks believed to have been stolen, a police official said.

Twelve people — an auctioneer, eight commission agents and three of their family members — were detained and questioned Wednesday by investigators from the agency for fighting art trafficking. Two were later released, the official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named because the investigation is ongoing.

The 2004 theft of the Courbet painting, "The Wave," prompted a formal judicial inquiry.

Police found it in the house of one of the commission agents, the official said. No other details, including about how and where the painting was stolen, were immediately available.

The stolen Courbet was one of several paintings by the convention-smashing, 19th-century realist master with a stormy ocean theme.

The Hotel Drouot is a large auction house in a sprawling 19th-century building in central Paris. It auctions fine art and antiquities, as well as such objects as pieces of the Eiffel Tower and mime Marcel Marceau's top hat.

Italian police seize £90m art stash from Parmalat founder

Italian police seized a stash of art masterpieces worth more than £90 million from Calisto Tanzi, the disgraced founder of the Parmalat business empire which collapsed owing millions to small investors.

Among the 19 masterpieces were paintings by some of the world's most famous artists, including Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Cezanne, Modigliani, Manet and Degas.

They allegedly belonged to the multi-millionaire businessman Calisto Tanzi, the founder of the Parmalat dairy empire, which collapsed in 2003 with billions of pounds of debt.

Italian courts have ruled that Tanzi bore the brunt of responsibility for the corporate catastrophe, in which many investors lost their life savings. He has been convicted of market-rigging.

Italian tax police found the artworks stashed in the basements and attics of three apartments in Parma, in northern Italy.

Mr Tanzi had reportedly told Guardia di Finanza police and tax investigators as recently as Monday, during a lengthy questioning, that he owned no such assets.

They included a portrait of a ballerina by Degas, The Cliffs at Pourville by Monet, still lifes by Gauguin and Van Gogh, a 1944 Picasso, a water colour by Cezanne and a pastel by Pizarro.

A Russian billionaire was reportedly in negotiations to buy the Monet for £9 million.

Among the other paintings, the Picasso is estimated to be worth a minimum of £6 million. Portrait of a Lady by Giuseppe De Nittis is said to worth more than £700,000.

A chief prosecutor in Parma, Gerardo Laguardia, said many of the paintings were being offered for sale, but did not specify whether they had been advertised on the open market.

If confirmed to be owned by Mr Tanzi, the art works could go some way to satisfying creditors' demands in the wake of Europe's biggest bankruptcy.

Among the hardest hit victims of the collapse, which shocked Italy's business establishment, were the thousands of ordinary Italians who were convinced that buying bonds in the company was a safe investment.

The crisis erupted in December 2003, when Parmalat said a bank account holding four billion euros (£3.6 billion) held by a Cayman Islands unit did not exist, forcing management to seek bankruptcy protection and triggering a criminal fraud probe.

The food giant collapsed shortly afterwards with a 14 billion euro hole in its accounts.

Parmalat emerged from bankruptcy in 2005, after being stripped of its loss-making foreign units, and has refocused on its core dairy business.

Mr Tanzi and other former executives were charged with market rigging, false accounting and misleading Italy's stock market regulator.

ROME — Italian tax police said Saturday that they had seized works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne and other giants of art in a crackdown on assets hidden by the disgraced founder of the collapsed dairy company Parmalat.

Authorities estimated the 19 masterpieces stashed away in attics and basements were valued at some euro100 million ($150 million).

Parma Prosecutor Gerardo Laguardia said that, based on wiretapped phone conversations, officials believed at least one of the paintings hidden by Calisto Tanzi was about to be sold.

"We got lucky. We learned that there were negotiations under way to sell one of the paintings" and raid three apartments in the area of Parma, near Parmalat's headquarters, Laguardia said in an interview on Italy's Sky TG24 TV. He didn't identify the painting.

Bologna-based tax Police Col. Piero Iovino told The Associated Press by telephone that investigators believed the entire batch of paintings, watercolors and drawings were up to be sold. The prospective buyer was a Russian, possibly living in Italy, Iovino said.

No arrests were announced as part of the art seizure.

Tax police said Parma prosecutors are opening a probe into alleged concealing of assets in Parmalat's bankruptcy case.

Parmalat, the dairy conglomerate known for its long shelf-life milk grew from a small dairy distributor in Parma, into a diversified, multinational food company by 1990, but collapsed in 2003 under euro14 billion in debt — eight times what it had previously acknowledged — in what remains Europe's largest corporate bankruptcy. Many small investors who lost their life savings were among some 40,000 defrauded bondholders.

Italian courts have already ruled that Tanzi bore the brunt of responsibility for the collapse. Tanzi was convicted by a Milan court last year of market-rigging and other charges in one of multiple probes. He is currently on trial for alleged fraudulent bankruptcy.

Tanzi has blamed the banks for the labyrinth of deals that helped swell the company to a global empire with operations in more than 30 countries, but also led to the company's collapse.

For years after the collapse, Tanzi was rumored to have had a "hidden treasure" somewhere. On Nov. 29, a state TV show alleged that Tanzi had hidden a collection of artwork to try to shelter himself from the effects of looming collapse of Parmalat.

"I don't have any secret cache" of paintings, Tanzi told reporters the next day on the sidelines of his current trial in Parma, repeating his ongoing dismissal of reports that he had a so-called "little treasure" of assets squirreled away.

A lawyer who represents Tanzi and serves as his spokesman didn't answer his cell phone Saturday.

Police showed some of the paintings to journalists near Parmalat's headquarters Saturday.

After the TV show, "we tightened the screws" and zeroed in on Tanzi son-in-law Stefano Strini, Iovino said. "He told us that the paintings were Tanzi's" and led police to the apartments, he said.

As the corporate failure loomed, Tanzi moved to safeguard his wealth by hiding "property whose value endures through time," Iovino said.

Among the masterpieces was a pencil on paper portrait of a ballerina by Degas, two Van Goghs, including a depiction of a trunk of a willow tree and a still life, a watercolor by Cezanne and a pencil-work by Modigliani.

Tax police official Massimo said some of the paintings were carefully wrapped for protection, but that other paintings, including a Picasso, were left open in the store room.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Summer Knocking Leads To Winter Burgling !!!!

Falmouth antique raids total £50,000
Thieves have targeted expensive and valuable heirlooms in a series of burglaries in and around Falmouth stealing antiques and other items worth tens of thousands of pounds.

Police say that high value homes have been hit in seven incidents over a four-week period.

The total value for the stolen items and damage for all the crimes is worth over £50,000.

Sergeant Dave O’Neill said: “There have been burglaries of antique property stolen over the past few weeks, spread around Falmouth in high value dwellings.

“This type of burglary is a rare crime for us, and it has impacted on us over the last two to three weeks. Investigations are underway, both through our forensic teams and other officers.”

Borders Burglary Nets 35 Thousand

AROUND £35,000-worth of antiques, collectables and jewellery has been stolen from a farmhouse near Coldstream.
The theft occured at Bartlehill Farm House between 5.30am and 11.30pm on Monday when the homeowners were away all day.

A police spokesman said the thieves broke in through a ground-floor window and he believed a duvet was used to transport the goods.