Sentimental clock stolen in 2015 burglary returned to owners
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“I never expected to see it again”.
These were the words of Paul Janes (pictured above with wife Annette), who has been reunited with a clock presented to his late grandfather 97 years ago, after it was stolen when his house was burgled on the night of January 15 2015.
Paul’s grandfather, Leonard King, was presented with the clock (below) after assisting a police officer from Maidstone Borough Police Force with the arrest of two violent prisoners on Boxing Day 1925.
Paul and his wife Annette had returned home from a night away to find entry had been forced and numerous rooms in the house had been ransacked.
They immediately reported the burglary to police but after an investigation, the case was filed due to no viable lines of enquiry.
A few years later, the clock turned up at a boot sale in Ford, West Sussex, where it was purchased. It then changed hands again, after being listed on eBay, which is where its journey home began.
The eBay purchaser, who wished to remain anonymous, spotted the listing and undertook some research after reading the clock’s personalised plaque (below) and feeling concerned that such a personal possession wouldn’t have been sold legitimately.
He researched the victim’s grandfather and found an article in the ‘The Argus’ newspaper about the burglary. He then contacted local radio but after being unsuccessful, contacted Sussex Police.
Detectives from Hastings CID then contacted Paul and Annette to inform them that the clock had been located.
Paul said: “I was absolutely astounded and delighted. I am so grateful to the finder, who would only let me cover his purchase fee on the understanding that he could donate it to a firefighters’ benevolent fund. He was an ex-Metropolitan firefighter who retired some years ago”.
Detective Sergeant Chris Milner said: “We were delighted to be able to reunite this item with the owner, and it also shows the vital importance of police actions such as listing items on property databases and publicising such crimes in media releases in the hope that one day they will be identified and returned”.
Crime preventionadvice can be found on the Sussex Police website here. Additionally, ‘Immobilise’, the UK National Property Register can be used to log high-value items at https://www.immobilise.com/.