Update: Two Essex men arrested in museum theft police raids


Two people from Essex were arrested today as police in the county took part in a raids in connection with a number of high-value thefts from museums and auction houses.

Hundreds of officers from 26 police forces and the Serious Organised Crime Agency were involved in the operation.

The series of warrants were executed at addresses in London, Sussex, West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Northern Ireland.

Police were confident of making significant progress in their inquiries.

The searches were in connection with six crimes which took place over a four-month period last year at museums and auction houses.

Chinese artefacts and rhinoceros horn were stolen – three at Durham Museum, one at Gorringes Auction House in East Sussex and one each at Norwich Castle Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Seventeen men and two women were arrested following the dawn raids.

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The Essex raids took place in Colchester, Basildon and Southend.

Two men from Basildon, aged 28 and 46, were arrested.

All of those arrested are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle apart from a 54-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting an offender.

Anyone with information that they believe could lead to tracing the stolen property can call 01733 863157.

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