£1million lighthouse lantern among goods stolen from Ilfracombe area

North Devon Gazette

Police investigating the theft of a £1million lighthouse lantern and other high value items from a storage facility in Ilfracombe are appealing for information.Â

Detectives are working to find several items stolen from the Qubik Space Storage Facility, on the Mullacott Industrial Estate, Ilfracombe, on the night of Monday, January 24.Â

The break-in is being linked to a number of other burglaries in the area of the Devon town between Sunday, January 23, and Tuesday, January 25.

A man in his 30s from the West Midlands area has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and is currently in police custody.Â

The 19th century lantern, pictured, which weighs around two tonnes and is estimated to be worth a seven-figure sum. It is constructed from around 12 separate brass frames with precisely cut curved glass sections. It also has a sectional solid brass supporting structure.Â

Among the other high value items taken were a marine inboard motor, high-quality fishing tackle and power tools.

Officers are appealing for information to help recover the stolen items and for any witnesses who may be able to help the investigation.Â

Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo said: “We are keen to recover these items for the owners, some of which are of a particularly high value.Â

“The break-in at the storage facility was one of a number of high-value burglaries and break-ins in the area that we believe are all connected.Â

“One of the items stolen in the burglary is of particular historical significance, being a lighthouse lantern dating back to the mid to late 1800s and is valued close to £1m. Until it was dismantled for storage, it was believed to be the only remaining operational lantern of its type in the world.Â

“We continue to investigate these crimes and are working with neighbouring forces.Â

“We have break-ins reported in several locations within and around the Ilfracombe area.Â

“On Monday night, we have had numerous containers broken into at Qubik Space Storage Facility; we also have reports of locks being cut on a number of motorcycles at a business in Woolacombe but currently nothing reported to have been stolen at this particular incident.Â

“On Tuesday night we have reports of thefts of vehicles on Springfield Road and Watermouth Castle areas of Ilfracombe, plus theft of tools from the Watermouth Inn, and a marine engine, cycle and other items following a break-in at the Lee Memorial Hall.Â

“We are taking this matter extremely seriously and it is vital that anyone with any information that could assist us with our investigation contacts us immediately.Â

“We would especially like to hear from anyone who can help us to locate the stolen items.”Â

If you witnessed the incident or have any information that could help the police with their enquiries, please email 101@dc.police.uk or call 101, quoting CR/006981/22.Â

Alternatively, to stay 100 per cent anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.