A SUBSTANTIAL reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of more than £700,000 worth of heirlooms stolen in a robbery at Goodwood House on January 13.
Detective Inspector Till Sanderson, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who is leading the investigation, said: “Much of this treasured property is irreplacable and my team, working closely with Lord and Lady March and the Goodwood Estate, is making every effort to trace it and identify those responsible.
“We have made a nationwide appeal to those with specialist knowledge, the Metropolitan Police Arts and Antiques Team and all police forces, as well as dealers, pawnbrokers, auction houses and Interpol, amongst others.
“I hope the offer of a substantial reward by the insurers, for information leading to the recovery of important items of jewellery and personal effects of historical significance, will encourage anyone who knows anything to come forward.
“We will continue to liaise with them as part of our investigation.
“My team are seeking forensic evidence in this case and intelligence from other forces regarding similar offences.
“We are determined to find the offenders and urge anyone who may know anything to contact police on 101 quoting Operation Forster or alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).”
In relation to the reward offer, for information leading to the recovery of the property, contact Chris Monks, the insurers’ representative, on 01483 891999.
Lord and Lady March were assaulted and then left tied up by the robber who made off with more than £700,000 worth of precious jewellery.
Lady March disturbed the burglar and was pushed before he struck Lord March on the head, police said, describing it as a ‘frightening ordeal’.
The couple were only released when a member of staff arrived for work at 6.30am and phoned police.
A large amount of jewellery, including historic heirlooms worth more than £700,000, were taken during the break-in at Goodwood House around 4.30am on Wednesday, January 13.
DI Sanderson said: “This was a frightening ordeal and I pay tribute to the courage of Lord and Lady March.
“The intruder broke in after scaling a ladder to an upstairs window, and his activity disturbed Lady March, who went to investigate.
“She disturbed the man, who was alone, and he pushed her and struck Lord March on the head, causing an injury to his ear.
“Lady March was then forced to open a safe and the man helped himself to jewellery. The couple were bound before the robber escaped with the items.”
The historic items, with huge sentimental value, include an 1820 diamond tiara, worth in the region of £400,000; an antique diamond necklace from the first half of the 19th century, worth in the region of £200,000; and an emerald intaglio and diamond ring from 1800, engraved with Duchess’s coronet and monogram CL for Louise de Keroualle, mistress of Charles II.
More than 40 items were stolen including emerald, diamond and sapphire rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces as well as antique Rolex and Girard Perregaux watches.
A 26-year-old man from Hampshire has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been bailed until February while investigations continue.
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