"No, really, that’s the mug for my tea…"
If you want to steal nice things, it helps to get a job where you work with nice things.
Right after World War II, John Nevin worked as a backroom assistant at the Victoria & Albert Museum, organizing and cataloguing objects.
But since he liked nice things, and he wanted to look at them at home, not just at work, he decided to take a few items home.
2,068 items, to be exact.
Most of the things were small, but he did steal one small table by taking it apart and hiding it in his pants leg.
When the museum finally realized some things were missing, they contacted police, who raided the home he shared with his wife.
At first, the couple claimed that the items were bought second-hand, or were wedding presents.
Yet the police kept finding more and more expensive items hidden in their home, such as musical instruments secretly stored underneath the floor, and carved jade figures inside a vacuum cleaner bag.
Other treasures were in plain sight, such as bathroom curtains made from rare cloth, and his wife’s 19th Century leather and tortoiseshell handbag.
She claimed it was her shopping bag and she bought in a shop.
After they confessed, his wife said:
"I am glad it is over really. I have been worried for years. We stopped asking people in because they used to say how expensive the things were."
Said a police report:
"Practically everything in Nevin’s small three-bedroomed council house, with the exception of the bed linen and items of clothing, was found to be property stolen from the museum, so that at the end of the search the rooms were practically bare."
It was the largest number of items ever stolen from a British museum.
Mr Nevin was sentenced to three years in prison.
"I couldn’t help myself. I was attracted by the beauty."
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