Lighthouse lantern worth £1 million stolen in Devon

The two-tonne lamp, which dates back to the 19th century, was taken from a storage facility in Ilfracombe.

Lamp
Lamp

Police are investigating after a 19th century lighthouse lantern weighing more than two tonnes was stolen from a storage facility in Devon.

The lantern, made of 12 separate brass frames and sections of curved cut glass, is worth around £1 million.

It was taken from the Qubik Space storage facility on the Mullacott Industrial Estate in Ilfracombe on Monday evening, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Before it was dismantled and placed in storage, it was thought to be the last lantern of its type still in use, the force said.

The theft is being linked to a string of burglaries between Sunday January 23 and Tuesday January 25.

A man in his 30s, from the West Midlands, has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and is in police custody, Devon and Cornwall Police said.

Lamp
One man has been arrested in connection with the theft (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

As well as the theft of the lantern, several other containers were broken into and items including a marine inboard motor, expensive fishing tackle and power tools were taken.

There were also reports of locks cut on a number of motorcycles at a businesses in Woolacombe on Monday night, although nothing was stolen.

On Tuesday, there were reports of thefts of vehicles in the Springfield Road and Watermouth Castle areas of Ilfracombe, and theft of tools from the Watermouth Inn. A marine engine, bike and other items were taken at a break-in at the Lee Memorial Hall.

Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo said: “We are keen to recover these items for the owners, some of which are of a particularly high value.

“The break-in at the storage facility was one of a number of high-value burglaries and break-ins in the area that we believe are all connected.

“One of the items stolen in the burglary is of particular historical significance, being a lighthouse lantern dating back to the mid to late 1800s and is valued close to £1m.”

Mr Naidoo said: “We continue to investigate these crimes and are working with neighbouring forces.”

Lamp
The lamp has still not been located (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the police immediately by calling 101 or emailing 101@dc.police.uk and citing crime reference CR/006981/22.

Alternatively, witnesses can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mr Naidoo said: “We would especially like to hear from anyone who can help us to locate the stolen items.”

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