FOUR people linked to a £30m crime spree have denied selling hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of art and antiques.
Police in the UK have recovered at least £500,000 worth of valuables stolen from stately homes and in raids on antiques shops across the country.
They were typically night-time burglaries carried out while victims were sleeping. The violence involved frequently left victims traumatised.
The recovered property includes silver stolen in the £1m break-in at the Petworth shop of Nicholas Shaw in July last year, when thieves slashed tyres of police patrol cars before removing the grille in a violent raid in the early hours of the morning. There are also miniatures taken from Madresfield Court in Worcestershire, where the culprits had rowed across the moat at night.
A collection of five paintings by John Sutton stolen from a London art dealer last year and a £50,000 painting by Thomas Sidney Cooper stolen from a house in Windsor are also amongst items recovered.
Anthony Green, 46, the owner of Flogg It auction house in Catford, his employee Gillian King, 50, Daniel Knight, 51, and antiques dealer Cyril Charles, 78, all of south-east London, face a series of charges between them, involving receiving, handling and fencing stolen goods as well as conspiracy charges linked to the crimes.
They all pleaded not guilty and were remanded on bail.
The police have been running a series of roadshows around the country in a bid to help people identify property stolen in the raids.