ALR Quarterly Newsletter Issue 11 – August 2018
Hubert Robert drawing recovered
Amongst many of the cases on which we have been working this year, we are happy to report the recovery of a Hubert Robert work in ink and watercolour.
The drawing was registered on the ALR database after a theft from a private residence in Brussels in June 2004. It was thereafter included in the 400,000 checks that we carry out on the market each year.
In May 2014, the work resurfaced at one of our subscribing auction houses. The insurers, who had paid out on the loss at the time, were informed and appointed the ALR to represent them. Following its recovery, the work it was successfully sold in March 2018.
Gun Loss Register launched
Following the success of The Watch Register, we are delighted to announce the launch of The Gun Loss Register. This newly-developed due diligence service is to support the gun trade, insurers and police by providing a centralised international database of stolen guns to increase chances of their recovery, and to deter theft.
For over 25 years, the Art Loss Register has recorded more than 5,000 stolen guns, from Purdey’s, Holland & Holland and Westley Richards rifles, to flintlock pistols and 17th century antique firearms.
The Gun Loss Register was launched at The Game Fair on Friday, July 27th.
Simon West OBE, incoming director of the UK-based Gun Trade Association, said: “The GTA strongly endorses The
Gun Loss Register. We see it as a vital contribution to the international battle against the trade in stolen guns. It will
provide significant deterrence against theft itself and allow the trade and private purchasers to check the Register and buy with confidence”.
National Crime Survey – England and Wales: Burglary and Robbery
The UK’s Office for National Statistics has released their latest analysis on crime in England and Wales, which reveals a 9% increase in domestic burglary (almost 440,000 cases in 2017), and 33% increase in robbery (74,000+ in 2017).
Many of these cases are reported to the ALR and included on our database to ensure that items can be recovered, and to prevent the inadvertent handling of stolen property.
For any questions regarding registration of stolen items, please get in touch directly or see the dedicated page on our website.
Comment: What’s the motive for museum thefts?
The ALR’s James Ratcliffe recently examined some of the motives for a recent spate in thefts from museums in
Apollo Magazine – read the article here.
James gives insight from the ALR’s perspective and experience in analysing art crime, and contrasts the more
opportunistic theft of the gold reliquary heart of Anne of Brittany (later recovered), with the break-in at the
Museum of East Asian Art in Bath in April.
Michael McIntyre robbed at knifepoint
In a series of high-profile cases over the past few months: the Watches of Switzerland chain was targeted by a
moped gang for the third time in just three months; Comedian Michael McIntyre had his Rolex stolen whilst
collecting his son from school (above); and Colombian singer Maluma had 11 luxury watches stolen from his Moscow
hotel room during the World Cup in Russia.
In the News: (More) high-profile luxury watch thefts and the work of The Watch Register
The last few months saw a fresh outbreak of violent watch robberies committed in broad daylight by moped thieves, both from luxury retailers as well as celebrities.
With the spotlight yet again on stolen watches, The Watch Register was the focus of articles by Simon de Burton in
the Financial Times Watch Supplement as well as by The Daily Telegraph in late May. The surge in thefts and reports of successful recoveries made by The Watch Register has led to a wave of victims coming forward to report their losses, often from years ago.
In total, the Watch Register has registered over 10,000 stolen watches in the last year alone for theft victims, insurers and police forces worldwide.