Plates stolen from Petworth House

A CCTV image of a man police want to speak to.
A CCTV image of a man police want to speak to.

Detectives are looking for a thief who stole two distinctive plates from the National Trust at Petworth House.

The pair of Japanese porcelain plates with similar designs were stolen on the afternoon of Thursday, February 9. They are 325mm in diameter, white with blue, orange and green decoration, and have gold edges.

Each has a distinctive floral pattern of chrysanthemums and peonies behind orange-coloured fencing in the centre. Around the rims of the plates are further floral decorations of irises, lychees and peonies.

The plates were marked by hand on the base with the numbers L/PET/C/99.1 and L/PET/C/99.2. These numbers may have been covered or scratched from the glaze.

A suspect was caught on several CCTV cameras and has been described as a thick-set white man of medium build, aged in his mid-to-late 50s, with receding short grey hair.

He was wearing a dark casual jacket, pale shirt and dark trousers. He left the property carrying a large red plastic carrier bag which had reinforced handles.

DC Andrea Watts, from Chichester CID, is investigating the thefts. She said: “The plates are very distinctive and unusual and we are hoping that someone may recognise them from the description or the photo that has been released.

“We would also like to hear from anyone who thinks they recognise the suspect who was caught on CCTV. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101, quoting crime number WC3/012999/12.”