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Suspected thieves charged with auction house burglaries

19 June 2012Written by ATG Reporter

Four suspected thieves were due to appear in court in connection with a series of burglaries at six auction houses in the south of England last year.

Two thefts took place at Gorringes in Lewes, East Sussex, in May and June; three at Toovey's in Washington, West Sussex, in May, June and October; one at Denhams in Warnham, West Sussex, in July; one at Concord in Cranbrook, Kent, in June; one at Stroud Auctions in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in October; and another at JS Auctions in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in July.

Items stolen included antique clocks, jewellery, vases, figurines and furniture, with an estimated value of £200,000. Sussex police say property to the value of £160,000 has been recovered so far.

Darryl Aldridge, 46, of Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex, was due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday, June 14, following an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Unit of Sussex police. He is charged with the nine burglaries mentioned, and is also charged with possession of cannabis and amphetamine, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in relation to the burglary in Stroud.

Kelly Lambert, 39, also of Shoreham, has been charged with theft at Toovey's in October 2011. Anthony Townsend, 49, of Brighton, has been charged with the burglary at Stroud Auctions. Anthony Fortune, 54, of Worthing, West Sussex, has been charged with perverting the course of justice.

Lambert, Townsend and Fortune were also due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on June 14.

Alan Topping, 49, of Hove, West Sussex, pleaded guilty at Northern Oxfordshire Crown Court in January this year to the Cranbrook and Banbury burglaries and was sentenced to 26 months imprisonment. Another man was acquitted of the Cranbrook offence.

Luke Hammond, 21, of Portslade, East Sussex, was convicted at Northern Oxfordshire Crown Court in April this year of the Banbury burglary and was sentenced to a community order.

Ashley Symes, 45, of Horsham, West Sussex, was convicted at Lewes Crown Court in February this year of the burglary at Gorringes in June 2011 and was sentenced to four years imprisonment for that and other unrelated offences.

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ATG Reporter

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