DETAILS have emerged of a brutal and ruthlessly executed robbery which saw two armed men break into the home of an elderly art dealer in Northern Ireland on January 3.
The extent of the theft is still being
catalogued but the value of the property is understood to run into
In what has been dubbed the iPhone raid, the
two men with Irish accents used a third party to assist them with
the robbery after forcing their way into a Co Armagh home. Beaten,
bound and gagged, the victim watched as a 'smart' phone was used to
film his collection. The videos were immediately sent to an
apparently knowledgeable accomplice who then advised the thieves on
what to steal and what to leave behind.
Before fleeing, many discarded objects were
smashed with a hatchet.
Among the stolen items from what has been
called a world-class art collection were two paintings by
Canaletto, exceptional antique furniture and other chattels. The
dealer's address book was also taken, which contained the contact
details of high-profile clients who have been alerted to the
possibility of a further raid.
Still fearing for his safety, the victim, a
retired vicar and well known at major art sales, has not been
Amidst speculation that the heist was connected with the
region's sectarian underworld, the Police Service of Northern
Ireland is working with An Garda Siochana on the case. It is
understood similar raids were carried out on properties in the Co.
Armagh area two years ago.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.