Police investigate Barnstaple museum theft
POLICE in Barnstaple are investigating the theft of a piece of history which had been on display in the town s museum for seven years. A collection of ten 17th century silver spoons, crafted in the town and worth approximately �20,000, was taken from a di
POLICE in Barnstaple are investigating the theft of a piece of history which had been on display in the town's museum for seven years.
A collection of ten 17th century silver spoons, crafted in the town and worth approximately �20,000, was taken from a display cabinet in the Museum of North Devon.
The theft took place during the day-time on Friday (July 31) between 9.30am and 4.15pm when the museum - on the Square in Barnstaple - was busy with holiday makers.
PC Shaunaugh Cobb said: "The museum was busy throughout the day and we believe someone may have seen the theft taking place. Or maybe you were visiting the museum that day and saw someone acting suspiciously around the collection.
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"This is an upsetting crime, particularly for the staff and volunteers at the museum, and this thief has taken a little piece of history away from the residents of Barnstaple.
"I would urge anyone with information to contact the police to help us return the items so that everyone can enjoy them in their rightful place."
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Alison Mills, development manager at the museum, said: "These spoons were generously donated to the museum by a local man so that everyone could appreciate their beauty and the skills of Barnstaple craftsmen.
"It's really upsetting that we can no longer use them to help the many local schoolchildren who visit to learn how wealthy and important Barnstaple was in the 17th century - these are the only examples of Barnstaple silver in our collections."
A 40-year-old Barnstaple man was arrested in connection with the incident. He has been released on police bail to return to Barnstaple police station on September 1.