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Breaking Hastings KENT Sussex

“I never thought I’d see it again.”

These were the words of Paul Janes, who was reunited with a clock given to his late grandfather 97 years ago after it was stolen during a burglary on January 15, 2015.
Leonard King, Paul’s grandfather, received the clock after assisting a police officer from Maidstone Borough Police Force in the arrest of two violent prisoners on Boxing Day 1925.
When Paul and his wife Annette returned home from a night out, they discovered that entry had been forced and that numerous rooms in the house had been ransacked.
They immediately reported the burglary to police, but after an investigation, the case was closed due to a lack of viable leads.
A few years later, the clock was discovered at a boot sale in Ford, West Sussex, and purchased. After being listed on eBay, it changed hands again, and its journey home began.
The anonymous eBay buyer spotted the listing and did some research after reading the clock’s personalised plaque and being concerned that such a personal possession would not have been sold legally.
He looked up the victim’s grandfather and discovered an article about the burglary in the newspaper ‘The Argus.’ He then attempted to contact a local radio station but was unsuccessful, so he contacted Sussex Police.
Hastings CID detectives then contacted Paul and Annette to inform them that the clock had been found.
“I was absolutely astounded and delighted,” Paul said. I am eternally grateful to the finder, who agreed to let me cover his purchase fee in exchange for a donation to a firefighters’ benevolent fund. He was a former Metro firefighter who retired a few years ago.”
“We were delighted to be able to reunite this item with the owner,” Detective Sergeant Chris Milner said. “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.”