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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Issued: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 13:38:49
"Operation Haul curbs art crime gangs"

"All evidence to the contrary"

Police appeal after Art and Antiques burglary - Maidenhead

Less than one week since Mark Warwick and police were revelling in their supposed glory of smashing the art crime gangs, we now see another theft of antique clocks and watches.

This will be followed by many others in the coming months.
The "Hitting corks in a barrel" approach continues!!!!!!!!!

Art Hostage is proved right yet again!!!!

Police are appealing for information after a group of burglars broke into the home of an elderly man in Maidenhead on Monday (16/10).

The offenders gained entry to the property in Wootton Way, at about 10pm, by forcing the front door.

The 79-year-old victim was in bed at the time and, after forcing their way in, the offenders removed a telephone from its socket to prevent him from calling the police or making contact with anyone else.

The group, of about six men, then searched his home, stealing a number of antique clocks and watches before leaving through the front door.

DS Simon Powell, officer in the case, said: “We urge anyone who heard or saw anything they think was suspicious in that area on Monday to call the police.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who has been offered any antique clocks or watches for sale.”

Police are investigating the possibility that the same group is also responsible for a second incident, which also occurred in the Punt Hill area of Maidenhead.

In this later incident, which occurred sometime between 11.55pm on Monday (16/7) and 5.15am on Tuesday (17/10), the offenders forced a front door to get in before searching the property.

Police are also investigating reports of a group of youths knocking on doors in the area on the same night.

Insp John McDonald, of the neighbourhood team at Maidenhead, said: “These offences were particularly despicable, being against some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“If anyone has any information about either offence, or the group of youths knocking on doors that night, they should phone police. All calls will be treated as confidential.” "And those who provide information to police will be hung out to dry when they are of no more use to law enforcement"

Antiques Trade Gazette

14 arrests, but still no sign of huge haul

Stolen art and antiques valued at tens of millions remain at large despite the arrests of 14 people in connection with a string of burglaries at English stately homes. Police have asked the antiques trade to remain vigilant.

The ongoing investigation is part of Operation Haul, an initiative involving police from five forces launched in 2005 to look at the activities of an extremely violent and intimidating crime network operating throughout the south of England. Police from Thames Valley, West Mercia, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire helped in the arrests. “We had a common problem, we had a common issue we needed to deal with. We came together and we actually worked together to solve this,” said Detective Superintendent Mark Warwick of Thames Valley Police.

However, while detectives claimed to have smashed an arts and antiques ring, so far little of the stolen goods – with a collective value of more than £100m – have been recovered. Police are hoping that inquiries over the next few days could lead to more being seized but, in the belief that most of the stolen property has been sold on, detectives urged antiques dealers to be alert. For example, none of the gold boxes from Waddesdon Manor have surfaced after four years.

The one breakthrough remains the stash of 140 objects discovered in underground storage on wasteland close to Stratford-upon-Avon at the end of March. As widely reported, the recovered objects, packed in straw inside dustbins, represented close to 40 per cent of the total volume taken in Britian’s largest domestic robbery at Ramsbury Manor, Wiltshire.

However, ATG have learnt that the recovered items are only a fraction of the total value of the stolen objects and the Ramsbury silver, 13 Golden Age English table clocks and two remarkable barometers are among the many pieces still at large.

The thieves/handlers gave back the "Shit" broken not wanted crap, to see what would be given in reward money and favours relating to jail time for those awaiting sentence.

To retrieve the high value stolen artworks there needs to be involvement with the private sector, but then again Law Enforcement is not bothered about recovery.

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