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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Issued: Friday, 20 October 2006, 17:24:22

Operation Haul - update

Five men were sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday (19/10) in connection with Operation Haul.

These men are part of the Art Crime gangs targeting Stately/Country homes for high value museum quality artworks. Targetting cash machines is just another line of criminal activity for these crime gangs.

The men were arrested near Burford, Oxfordshire, in April for the attempted theft of an ATM machine using two stolen vehicles.

George Smith, aged 38, from the Tunbridge Wells area of Kent was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Stephen Boyd, aged 49, from Reading was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Steven Thornton, aged 32, from the Tunbridge Wells area of Kent, was sentenced to seven years and eight months imprisonment.

Mathew Cook, aged 30, from the Tunbridge Wells area of Kent, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Dominic Edwards, aged 28, from the Tunbridge Wells area of Kent, was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

A sixth man is due to be sentenced on Monday (23/10).

How To Prevent High Value Art Theft, Minimal Cost!!!!

It is impossible to stop these career criminals from comitting crime, however, if existing sentencing guidelines in British law are enforced for high value art theft, then these criminals will stop targeting Stately/Country homes and comitt crime in other areas.

If the message is clear, anyone convicted of high value art theft will be given a mandatory 10 years jail sentence, then High value art theft will look less attractive.

A scheme in America that makes it a federal offence to steal high value artworks from public buildings and museums, leaving criminals facing 25 to life if they are caught. This has stemed the theft of priceless artworks from public buildings and museums although security at many Muesums and public buildings leaves something to be desired.

If applied in Britain, the criminals would think twice before embarking on stealing high value artworks from public buildings and museums, the museums would not have to update their security, although this is recommended however expensive, and the public will enjoy access to unique priceless artworks on display, furthering everyone's cultural learning.

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