Police in the UK are not taking the ring of museum thieves lightly. Knitting together police forces from around the country they’ve made a concerted effort to create real consequences for the theft of artifacts from regional museums, according to the Guardian:
17 men and two women were held in dawn raids involving hundreds of police around England and Northern Ireland. The operation, which follows a pan-European investigation, also involved officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
The arrests were connected to six thefts over a four-month period last year: three at Durham Museum and the others at a Norwich museum,the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge and at Gorringes auction house in Lewes, East Sussex. Items stolen included Chinese antiquities worth more than £15m and a rhinoceros horn. […] So far, eight people have been convicted and jailed for more than 40 years for their roles in the crimes. They include a 15-year-old boy and three men convicted of conspiracy to burgle at the Fitzwilliam. Eighteen Chinese jade pieces worth an estimated £15m were stolen.