Police release CCTV in bid to find those responsible for Blenheim Palace toilet burglary

2 October 2019, 15:42

Police have released CCTV images of a vehicle believed to have been involved in the burglary of the toilet
Police have released CCTV images of a vehicle believed to have been involved in the burglary of the toilet. Picture: Thames Valley Police

By Sylvia DeLuca

Thames Valley Police have released CCTV images of a vehicle believed to have been involved in the burglary of a gold toilet worth £4.8m in a raid at Blenheim Palace.

The images form part of police's appeal for information following the burglary of the 18-carat toilet in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 14 September.

Officers believe the burglars left the scene of the crime at 4.50am and that at least two vehicles were used during the offence.

The artwork is yet to be recovered.

It was ripped from a wood-panelled room at the Oxfordshire stately home, that had to remain closed for most of the day of the burglary whilst detectives could investigate.

The gold toilet designed by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was stolen from Blenheim Palace in September
The gold toilet designed by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was stolen from Blenheim Palace in September. Picture: PA

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Steven Jones, said: "The vehicle, a navy blue Volkswagen Golf R, remains outstanding, and I am appealing to anyone who recognises it, or may have seen it in or around Woodstock near the time of the incident.

"It is believed that it was displaying cloned plates. I would like to appeal to anyone who was in Woodstock at the time of the burglary that may recognise this vehicle to get in touch with police."

Police are also appealing to motorists with dash-cam footage in the area to review it and check if their camera captured anything significant.

The toilet formed part of an art exhibition at Winston Churchill's birthplace, Blenheim Palace
The toilet formed part of an art exhibition at Winston Churchill's birthplace, Blenheim Palace. Picture: PA

According to police, on the morning of the burglary, five offenders arrived in two stolen vehicles and forced a perimeter gate open.

They then drove to the palace courtyard and three offenders, wearing dark clothing and balaclavas, exited the vehicles whilst the drivers waited.

After having torn the plumbed in toilet from its fixings, they carried it out of the palace and loaded it into the rear of one of the vehicles, before leaving the scene.

Officers say a "substantial reward" is being offered by the insurers for the safe return of the toilet, subject to specific conditions.  

Anyone with any information about the incident should call 101, or visit a police station, quoting investigation number 43190284218.

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