Firle Place Raider
Antiques shop raid suspect caught on CCTV
AN image has been released of a bearded man police want to speak to in connection with an antiques shop burglary in which thousands of pounds worth of items were stolen.
They included valuable oil paintings and pieces of furniture, and were taken at around 7.40pm on Sunday, June 13 when two men broke into Antique Elegance in Dorking’s West Street.
It was the latest in a series of raids at antiques stores in the road, and traders have voiced their frustration about the thieves avoiding detection on CCTV systems.
But police have a picture of one man loading a table into the back of a van during last week’s incident, and they are hopeful someone will be able to help identify him.
The flat above Antique Elegance was broken into and attempts were then made to enter the shop using a pickaxe and spade. When this failed, the front window was smashed.
A member of public spotted the men and they then jumped into a dirty white van and drove off.
The vehicle was described as a Mercedes Sprinter van with a distinctive near-side sliding door. It was dark coloured and had some writing on the near-side rear panel.
Police described the first suspect as a white man in his mid-50s who was 6ft 3in tall and had short, scruffy light grey hair and a grey beard.
He was wearing a navy blue jacket with a red strip on the collar and light or green coloured trousers, as well as a black baseball cap with a distinctive piping round the edge. The man spoke with a southern accent.
The second man was white and in his mid to late 50s, 5ft 7in tall, of medium build and with scruffy white hair. He was wearing neutral coloured clothes, a cloth cap and tan coloured gloves.
Detective Constable Dion O’Shea said: "The image clearly shows the first suspect loading a small table into the back of the van and you can see the stolen paintings which are already loaded into the van.
“We know the van, a white Mercedes Sprinter with false number plates, was driven off in the direction of the High Street and then along Dene Street, but after that we have no further sightings.
“Can you help? Do you remember seeing these men and the van in the Dorking area on Sunday evening?”
The crime followed a dawn raid at the nearby Surrey Hills Antiques Centre on June 7, and two break-ins at Talbot House Antiques Centre earlier this year.
Shopkeepers from West Street, who have spoken of their frustration at being persistently targeted by thieves, are to meet with police and Mole Valley MP Sir Paul Beresford on July 8 to discuss the issue.
Art Hostage Comments;
Top photo is the one released today by Police of the man who robbed the Butchers Antiques shop in Dorking called Antique Elegance.
Middle and bottom photo's are images of the man who robbed Firle Place last year.
Notice the similarities, with beard top, minus beard in the two below ??
The Firle Place images have never been revealed before, but as usual Art Hostage is ahead of the curve.
Want more images, all in good time.
As said before, please just call Sussex Police anonymously with the location of the Firle Place porcelain so that raid can be put to bed.
O'h and not to forget it was the same guys who attempted to raid Patrick Moorheads warehouse in Church Street Brighton, failed and tried to torch the place, and also his step brother Lennox Cato fell victim to these guys.
As Art Hostage stated before:Dick Ellis has named Michael Hurley as the chief suspect in this recent raid and members of his gang for previous raids, including some of the Stately home raids over the last two years, Firle Place, and Glynde Place being the two most high profile raids.
Mark Dalrymple went further, Michael Hurley is the main focus of attention and efforts have been made for Police to put Michael Hurley and his associates under 24/7 surveillance.
Dick Ellis and Mark Dalrymple have even tried to use Tim Corfield the Art dealer to infiltrate the Michael Hurley syndicate with no luck. Seems Nice but Dim Tim Corfield failed and was exposed straight away.
However Police are said to be confident they will make a breakthrough soon according to Dick Ellis and Mark Dalrymple.
Plans to slip an undercover Police officer from S.O.C.A. into the Michael Hurley Gang, as a buyer of stolen art and antiques, have so far failed to bear fruit, but efforts continue.
However, as usual Police are reluctant to put the Michael Hurley Gang under 24/7 surveillance, although pressure is coming from Political circles as well as the Historic Houses Association and Belted Earls.
Dick Ellis has just said:
"If I had any hair, I would be pulling it out"
Mark Dalrymple followed suit:
"If I go down, I'll take everyone with me"