Rhino head stolen by thieves who ‘targeted’ Essex auction house

A FIRM of auctioneers in Stansted Mountfitchet appears to have been the subject of a targeted burglary in which a black rhino head worth thousands of pounds has been stolen.

The alarm was activated at Sworders Auctioneers, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet about 8.15pm on Monday (Feb 21).

Police attended and found that external doors had been forced and that only the rhino head had been stolen. A track was found across a field to where it is thought a vehicle had been left.

Details of the forthcoming auction and a photo of the rhino head had been displayed on the internet. The rhino head had a value in excess of �50,000 and if sold into the traditional medicine market, of a far greater value.

There had a previous burglary at the premises on Tuesday (Feb 8) which may be linked to this offence.

Pc Andy Long, wildlife and environmental crime officer, said: “This seems to be a targeted burglary and the thieves knew that the rhino horn was there. It is a valuable item in its own right but if sold into the traditional medicine market would have a much greater value.”

Anyone who saw any unusual activity around the premises on either date, or who has any other information is asked to contact police on 0300 333 4444 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.