UPDATE: The Corpus silver thief has been jailed for two and a half years
UPDATE March 30th
The man who stole the Corpus silver has been jailed for two and a half years.
Scott Thomas had pleaded guilty to 17 offences, including the theft of the “priceless” items which he took in January.
It brings to an end an incredible saga which saw Thomas arrested after stealing the silver and attempting to sell it to an antiques dealer at a cut price.
Despite the majority of the “irreplaceable” items being melted down, police said they hope Corpus feel that they have now “received some justice for this mindless act.”
Scott was arrested two months ago after attempting to sell the high-value remaining items for a paltry £30, and faced other charges including bike theft and driving whilst disqualified.
Police were quick to highlight the role of the local shopkeeper,who alerted the authorities immediately, in bringing him to justice stating: “this case really highlights the importance of the public informing the police when a crime has been committed.”
UPDATE January 26th
Police have charged a man with the Corpus chapel theft, after recovering some of the stolen items.
The arrest occurred after the 37-year-old took the Ciborium, the Everyday Paten, and the Sunday (Knight) Paten, described by the college as “irreplaceable”, to an antiques dealer for valuation.
But the quick thinking shop-keeper, realised that “this wasn’t what we would call ‘right’” and alerted the authorities, as well as purchasing the items and returning them to the college.
The man will appear in Cambridge Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.
UPDATE January 24th:
Some of the silverware stolen from Corpus Christi has been recovered after two weeks of searching.
The Chapel’s stash of silver, described by the college as “irreplaceable” was robbed a fortnight ago.
Corpus have reassured worried Cantabs that they are pleased to report a number of the stolen items were recovered by the police.
Rumours are flying that the cops were helped in their investigation by a local shopkeeper.
While this is great news for the college, two items of the “very distinctive” silverware are still to be found.
Police are hunting a thief who filched silverware from Corpus Christi’s Chapel this Monday.
Two silver plates, two chalices and a ceremonial cup – all described by Corpus as “irreplaceable” – were stolen from a wooden chest in the chapel.
They were stolen between 4.30pm and 8.30 pm, when the chapel was open to the public. Nobody has been identified in connection with the crime.
Police image of the stolen silver
PC Simon Railer, who heads the investigation, made the following statement:
“These pieces of silverware are very distinctive and I would urge anyone with information on their whereabouts to call police.”
Cambridgeshire Police told The Tab, “We do not know who the thief might be yet, nor the reason for the theft… CCTV footage taken by the college is currently being examined as part of PC Railer’s ongoing investigation”.
A Corpus spokesperson said “The college can confirm that a small number of objects were stolen from the college chapel.” They declined to comment further.
The college owns a large collection of valuable objects, including a medieval drinking horn, ancient manuscripts and a (now slightly less) substantial collection of silver. The most famous are the 6th century St Augustine Gospels, which were venerated by the Pope during his 2010 UK visit.
The Corpus incident is part of a nationwide increase in metal thefts, linked to the sharply rising market price of metal. Churches are frequent victims, with 2011 racking up more claims for stolen metals than any year on record.
Anyone with any information should call PC Railer on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.