‘Audacious’ gang of thieves who cut out holes in museum floorboard to steal ‘priceless’ artefacts hunted by police

3 November 2023, 16:32

Notts police make appeal after burglars cut hole in the floor

By Jenny Medlicott

A manhunt is underway for a gang of thieves after they cut holes in a museum floor and stole a number of ‘priceless’ artefacts.

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Staff at the Royal Lancers & Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum at Thoresby Park realised the artefacts were missing in the early hours of Sunday morning when they notified police.

Detectives believe the theft occurred between 2.40am and 3.30am.

Countless “priceless” items were stole in the burglary, including a gilt rosewater dish – said to be the sister piece to the Wimbledon women’s singles trophy.

Other missing items include the Hurlingham Grand Military Polo trophy, statuettes of mounted soldiers and a cavalry trumpet.

Now footage released by police shows that the gang made their way into the museum by sawing holes under the displays of the artefacts.

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The thieves drilled a hole underneath the artefact displays.
The thieves drilled a hole underneath the artefact displays. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police

It appears the thieves drilled upwards from underneath the floorboards, tunnelling through several layers of wood to break in.

““It’s disgusting that they’ve taken history from the people who have served and fought for this country,” Steve Cox, curator for the Royal Lancers & Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum, said.

He added: “The items they have taken are priceless to the museum.

“How do you put a value on history?

“We’re upset about it, but we’re fighting back and we’re going to rebuild from what’s gone.”

Detective Inspector Luke Todd, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was an audacious, planned, and targeted attack on what is a wonderful historic building and was clearly very well organised.

Countless 'priceless' artefacts were stolen.
Countless 'priceless' artefacts were stolen. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police

“The items that were stolen are not only high in monetary value but also high in sentimental value not only to the military, but also to the wider community in the area.

“These items are worth so much more to the museum than they are melted down in their silver form.

“So, I really want to ask anyone who may have any information, may have seen anything suspicious or has heard about someone trying to sell items like this to get in touch with us.

“You may think the information you have is irrelevant but could be exactly what we need to find those responsible.

“These criminals may think they’ve got away with a lot of silver at this moment in time, but they definitely haven’t got away with the crime.”

Anyone with additional information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 273 of Sunday 29 October 2023. Crimestoppers can also be contacted on 0800 555 111.

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