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Grandfather jailed for nine years for stealing antiques from stately homes Mail Online

Grey-haired and bespectacled, he didn’t exactly stand out in the groups taking guided tours of various stately homes.But there was one thing that set National Trust member Geoffrey Harkin apart from his fellow sightseers examining the treasures on show.The 58-year-old grandfather would later return to the grand properties – and burgle them.In total, he stole antiques worth more than £1.2million from mansions across the country. The items have never been recovered.His targets included Firle Place near Lewes, East Sussex, where he stole nationally important Sevres porcelain worth more than £1million in a burglary that was to feature on Crimewatch. A pair of identical vases made in 1763 and a Hollandaise Nouveau vase were among the pieces taken in July 2009.At Longnor Hall in Shropshire he stole antiques worth more than £27,000.And he took a £200,000 clock by Thomas Tompion – who lived from 1639 to 1713 and is regarded as the father of English clockmaking – from Levens Hall, near Kendal in Cumbria.It was the clock that was to be his undoing. Using a false name, he later told the owners he would give it to them in return for an advertised £20,000 reward, and £5,000 for himself, as long as they did not tell the police.

via Grandfather jailed for nine years for stealing antiques from stately homes Mail Online.

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