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11 February 2013, 17:15 | Updated: 11 February 2013, 18:00
A 23 year-old man's admitted to stealing a 14th Century jug from the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton.
At Luton Crown Court today (Mon 11th Feb, 2013), 23 year-old Ronald Nash, of Pitwood Green, Tadworth, Surrey admitted to stealing the 700 year-old item.
Nash was charged with handling stolen property and being concerned in the supply of class A drugs after Bedfordshire Police launched a covert operation to retrieve the jug after it was taken from a high security display cabinet at the museum on on the 12th of May, 2012.
A second man, Louis Kybert, 25, of Ferndale Road, Banstead, Surrey pleaded guilty before the same court to the possession of two stun guns and being concerned in the supply of class A drugs after being arrested by officers conducting searches for the jug.
Nash was arrested and charged following an in depth investigation which included an appeal on TV’s Crimewatch programme, the Wenlok Jug – which is made of bronze, stands is 31.5cm tall, weighs 6.1kgs and is decorated with coats of arms, badges and is inscribed with the words “MY LORD WENLOK” and valued at £750,000.
A third man, aged 47, was arrested in connection with this investigation but he was released without further action.
Nash and Kybert will be sentenced at Luton Crown Court on March 15th.
Detective Inspector Martin Peters, who led the investigation to trace and recover the jug, told Heart: "This was a high profile case which involved the theft of a national treasure and attracted a lot of public interest. The amount of evidence gathered by officers has meant that the offenders had no alternative but to plead guilty.
The reduction of burglaries remains a priority for Bedfordshire Police and this case illustrates what lengths the force will go to in order that stolen property is recovered and offenders are brought to justice and this includes those who handle stolen property."