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Witness appeal

Appeal after ancient skulls stolen from Hythe church

The skulls were stolen from a shelving display.
Officers are appealing for information to help recover more than 20 ancient skulls stolen from a church in Hythe

It was reported that between 4pm on Sunday 15 July 2018 and 10.40am the following day, a door had its lock damaged and a total of 21 skulls were stolen from a shelving display within the crypt at St Leonard’s Church in Oak Walk.

Kent Police is investigating the burglary of the skulls which are believed to be around 700 years old. 

Inspector Maxine Harris of Kent Police said: ‘We recognise this is perhaps an unusual theft, but these skulls were not free for the taking. They are part of an important collection, we are keen to see them back in their rightful place in the crypt.

‘We would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the burglary.

‘Also we ask people to get in touch if they have seen these skulls offered for sale.’  

Revd Andrew Sweeney, Priest-in-Charge at St Leonard’s, said: ‘Each skull represents the mortal remains of a human being who deserves to rest in peace. 

‘This crime is shocking and unsettling for those in our community and we are grateful to the police for their help in this matter.’

Can you help?

Anyone with information about the burglary, is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 16-419.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111. 
  • Pictured: the skulls were stolen from this shelving display in the crypt. 

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