Nineteen Arrested After Break-ins Targeting Chinese Artifacts

Posted on October 16, 2013


In dawn raids, police arrested 19 people that they believe were involved in thefts and attempted thefts of various Chinese artifacts from museums and an auction house. The thefts occurred across a four-month span in 2012. Among the institutions targeted were the Durham University Oriental Museum, Gorringes Auction House, Norwich Castle Museum, and Fitzwilliam Museum.

Authorities believe that the 19 suspects are connected to the Rathkeale Rovers gang. The gang has notoriously stolen artifacts from up to 100 museums across Europe since 2011. Typically, the gang sells their findings to black-market dealers in the Far East.

Authorities believe that the recently arrested suspects stole a variety of jade artifacts and rhino horns in six separate burglaries. The artifacts were likely sold to Chinese collectors, and have not yet been recovered.

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