Most thefts in the antiques trade are usually well planned. The burglars often have knowledge about the antiques they plan to steal and have visited country estates beforehand during open days to see what there is and where particular items are placed.
When the burglary takes place, the thieves know exactly what they are going to steal, where items are located, and are in and out quickly. This is the opinion of owners of some these country estates who have suffered burglaries in the past. When precious antiques were stolen from Sutton Park near York earlier this year, the owner, David Cameron’s father-in-law, felt that items stolen from him were taken to order and had been earmarked during public opening times.
However the trend for the carefully organised antiques and arts theft seems to have taken a knocking this week when opportunist thieves raided an antiques shop in Staines, taking only jewellery and damaging display cases in the process. The jewellery that was taken was not of high value, so it was obvious that the thieves had no real knowledge of the items they planned to steal – only grabbing jewellery because they assumed it was valuable and easy to carry. The sole reason was to get in quickly, grab what they thought was valuable then make their escape.
Although the police felt the job was planned, the thieves’ lack of knowledge and respect for antiques lead to serious damage. Whether thieves take jewellery in Staines or antique furniture in Lancaster, the outcome can be the same in this type of burglary and irreplaceable items could suffer serious damage as a consequence.
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