Metal Thieves Use Google Earth to Identify Heritage Sites to Plunder

Posted on March 26, 2012


According to Mike Harlow, a legal director at English Heritage, internet mapping services like Google Earth and his own organization are making it easier for thieves to target heritage sites. Harlow explained onBBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “There are particular threats at the moment because of the valuable materials that there are on old buildings. People can find, relatively easily through the internet, where ancient sites are and where they can go trophy hunting for artefacts.”

An official study was conducted on heritage crimes and the results are rather startling. In Britain, more than more than 75,000 heritage crimes occurred in 2011. One out of every eight important sites has been damaged in various ways such as metal theft, vandalism, and graffiti and arson. Recently, two prominent sites have been targeted: the York Minister and Bishop’s Palace in Lincoln as well as the £500,000 Dame Barbara Hepworth bronze sculpture which was stolen from Dulwich Park.

Read the full article Metal theives ‘using Google Earth’ to target heritage sites.

Thanks to Kristina Bauer for her assistance with this post.