CCTV pictures released in hunt for gold toilet stolen from stately home

Police have released CCTV images of a vehicle believed to have been involved in the theft of a golden toilet valued at around £4.8 million from Blenheim Palace.

Thames Valley Police were called to reports of a burglary at Winston Churchill’s birthplace at Woodstock, Oxfordshire, on September 14, where the art installation lavatory was stolen in an overnight raid.

The fully functioning toilet, named America, was part of an art exhibition in a wood-panelled room at the 18th-century estate, and its theft caused significant flood damage as it had been plumbed in for visitors to use.

Officers believe at least two vehicles were used during the burglary. No-one was injured and it is thought the offenders left the scene at around 4.50am.

A photograph of a navy blue Volkswagen Golf R has been released by Thames Valley Police.

Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Steven Jones, said: “The vehicle, a navy blue Volkswagen Golf R, remains outstanding, and I am appealing to anyone who recognises it, or may have seen it in or around Woodstock near the time of the incident.

“It is believed that it was displaying cloned plates.

“Also, I would appeal to motorists with dashcam footage in the area to review it and check if their camera has captured anything significant, or this vehicle itself.

Golden toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace
The damage to the room where the gold toilet was plumbed in (Blenheim Palace/PA)

“The stolen artwork has not been recovered, but officers are working to retrieve it. Anyone who has any information regarding its whereabouts is asked to get in touch with police.

“We have been made aware that a substantial reward being offered by the insurers for the safe return of the property subject to specific conditions.

“You can leave information via our dedicated website for this investigation, which is https://mipp.police.uk/operation/43H219A80-PO1, call 101, or visit a police station, quoting investigation number 43190284218.”

A 66-year-old man from Evesham was arrested on suspicion of burglary, and is on police bail until October 9.

A 35-year-old man from Cheltenham was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle and has been released under investigation.

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