Even in the relatively crime-free Ribble Valley, an antique cabinet should be well insured; not only against damage, but against theft as well.
This fact has been brought home by a case in Vermont, USA, in which aptly named American career criminal Charles Pickett went on a burglary spree in the Vermont area, concentrating on antiques belonging to the recently deceased. Unlike the typical house burglar, however, Pickett did not just concentrate on portable items like jewellery and silver; he was prepared to take the antique desks and cabinets in which they were stored, too.
“We’d walk into a house and pretty much all of the furniture would be missing,” said Vermont State Trooper Benjamin Katz.
Pickett, 36, a known offender, was arrested after police found stolen antiques at his home. Among them were eight family heirlooms, including antique furniture inherited by sisters Margaret Seidenberg-Ellis and Catherine Seidenberg and stolen from their dead mother’s home. The one missing item was a child’s antique rocking chair, which Pickett had sold to an unsuspecting dealer. The dealer was later cleared of any involvement in the crime, with his co-worker commenting that because antique furniture is not easily converted into cash, thieves rarely target it. Often, dealers had to use their “gut instinct” on deciding if a vendor was being honest or not.
To an antiques dealer in Preston, every Victorian oak partners desk and antique dining table is precious. They will do their utmost to safeguard items until they are legally purchased, and will never knowingly accept stolen property.
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