Museums Thefts News United Kingdom

Dawn raids result in 19 arrests connected to museum thefts

Hundreds of officers were involved in the operation, which spanned five counties in England as well as Northern Ireland

Police arrested four suspects in a dawn raid in Cambridgeshire

The police have arrested 19 people in connection with the theft of Chinese art from three UK museums and a regional auction house. The arrests came after a dawn operation across five counties of England as well as Northern Island.

Hundreds of officers were involved in the raids this morning, 10 September, which has resulted in 18 men being held on suspicion of committing burglary and a woman on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.

Institutions targeted by thieves in a spate of break-ins in 2012 were Durham University’s Oriental Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and Norwich Castle Museum. Thieves first struck at the Oriental Museum, smashing through a wall and taking a jade bowl and porcelain figure, estimated to be worth £2m. Shortly after, Chinese jade and porcelain worth £18m was taken from the Fitzwilliam Museum. An unsuccessful raid was also made that month on the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath.

Several high-value items remain to be recovered and the police operation is ongoing.


Eighteen men are being held on suspicion of committing burglary and a woman on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender
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