Christie’s Fabergé Egg Thief to Be Sentenced Just Days After Easter
The jewel-encrusted baubles remain at large.
Fabergé egg thief Richard Tobin is facing several years in prison after swiping nearly £800,000 worth of the jewel-encrusted Russian baubles from Christie’s London, which he broke into, in December 2014. He will receive his sentence on April 8, which is aptly just three days after Easter Sunday.
But what’s paramount in the British court’s mind is that police have still not been able to retrieve the trove of rare and pricey pieces, which include a Fabergé Jasmine flower silver gilt worth £550,000, a gold and silver aquamarine necklace from 1900 worth £35,000, a Fabergé carved bulldog and a carved cockerel worth £25,000 each, and rings worth £20,000. Silver cutlery worth £2,500 and $200 in cash were also taken from a drawer inside an office at the auction house.
Tobin, who remains in custody, has admitted to stealing the goods and is pleading guilty to two counts of burglary. Earlier this year, he was seen launching into a bizarre diatribe at Southwark Crown Court, claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald.
“You want my name?,” he shouted in a thick Scottish accent. “Lee Harvey Oswald—nickname Patsy. We’ve sorted that one out.”
Judge Alistair McCreath continued despite the strange rant, telling the court: “The gentleman has informed us that he is Lee Harvey Oswald, but I don’t think that’s right somehow. I expected we can proceed on the basis that he is Mr. Tobin.”
“He accepts he took the items,” Defense lawyer Jack Talbot noted. “It may be part of the mitigation that he did not know their value.”
Tobin will receive his sentence next week from prison via video, per his own request. “I would prefer to get sentenced via video link so I don’t have to leave the prison,” he said, to which Judge Owen Davies responded: “You will be remanded in custody and you face a long prison sentence.”
But with the bejeweled eggs still at large, the Metropolitan Police have quite an Easter egg hunt on their hands. It wouldn’t be the first time someone stumbled upon a multimillion dollar egg (see Man Finds Fabergé Egg Worth $33 Million on His Kitchen Counter and Fabergé Turns New York Into a Hunting Ground for Artist-Design Easter Eggs).
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