Thursday, January 27, 2005

Curses! Foiled Again!

More fun reading from London:

A man tried to steal precious artefacts from the British Museum in broad daylight, it emerged today.

Armed only with a pair of pliers and wire, a man is suspected of attempting to prise open a display case in a Greek and Roman gallery.

But he was foiled by a sharp-eyed attendant just before closing time yesterday afternoon, the museum said.

The man ran off when he was approached by the attendant, but security guards later apprehended a suspect who was turned over to police.

Scotland Yard said a man in his late 40s had been arrested and was being held at Holborn Police Station on suspicion of attempted theft and going equipped to steal.

A British Museum spokeswoman said: "A man was spotted by an alert gallery attendant acting suspiciously so they approached him and noticed he seemed to have some wire and pliers in his hand and was seemingly trying to get into one of the cases.

"The gallery contains lots of different objects. There is some jewellery, Roman cameos, glass vessels and some larger sculptures.

"Obviously they are important objects on display in one of our key galleries." Two months ago, a thief snatched a collection of about 15 ancient Chinese jewels from the museum.

Two years ago, a small Greek marble head was stolen.

The museum in Russell Square, central London, attracts about 11,000 visitors a day.

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