Hunt for Petworth House antique thief continues

The CCTV image released by West Sussex Police and an image of one of the stolen plates
The CCTV image released by West Sussex Police and an image of one of the stolen plates

New CCTV images have been released by police as they continue their search following a theft at Petworth House.

Detectives are continuing their search after a pair of Japanese porcelain plates were stolen on Thursday, February 9.

Police are keen to trace a man who was seen acting suspiciously on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 1 at the National Trust Property.

The man was observed trying several locked doors before leaving the premises.

He was seen on a number of CCTV cameras and police have released an image of him from one of the cameras in the hope that someone will recognise him.

He is described as white, in his fifties, of medium height and heavy build with short grey hair.

He was wearing a beige t-shirt with dark trousers and shoes.

The valuable plates, which have similiar designs are white with blue, orange and green decoration, have gold edges and are 325mm in diameter.

Each plate has a distinctive floral pattern of chrysanthemums and peonies behind orange-coloured fencing in the centre.

There are further floral decorations around the rims of the plates of irises, lychees and peonies.

The plates were marked by hand on the base with the numbers L/PET/C/99 and L/PET/C/99.2, which may have been covered or scratched from the glaze.

Detective Constable Andrea Watts said: “We believe this may be the same man we want to interview about the theft of two valuable plates from Petworth House.”

Andrew Loukes, house and collections manager at Petworth House said: “We took the theft of the two plates in February very seriously. Hopefully new footage of the suspect will result in someone recognising him, which will be a great help to West Sussex Police in their ongoing investigations.

“We are also still hopeful that members of the public may have seen the distinctive plates. Ultimately, we would very much like to see them back in the collection at Petworth.”

If you recognise the man pictured in the CCTV image, or have knowledge of where the plates may be located, contact police on 101 quoting serial 1375 of 1 August.

Anyone with information can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.