Sussex man reunited with antique clock stolen in 2015 burglary

A man has been reunited with a clock that was presented to his late grandfather almost 100 years ago after it was stolen in a burglary in 2015.

Paul Janes said he never expected to see the antique again following the break-in at his house.

He and his wife Annette were reunited with the item after it turned up at a boot sale.

A buyer on eBay did some research which led to the clock being reunited with its owners, police said.

Paul Janes pictured with wife Annette with the clock. Picture from Sussex Police

Paul’s grandfather, Leonard King, was presented with the clock after assisting a police officer from Maidstone Borough Police Force with the arrest of two violent prisoners on Boxing Day 1925.

Police said Paul and his wife had returned home in Battle from a night away to find entry had been forced and numerous rooms in the house had been ransacked.

They immediately reported the burglary to police but after an investigation, the case was filed due to no viable lines of enquiry.

Police said a few years later, the clock turned up at a boot sale in Ford, West Sussex, where it was purchased. It then changed hands again, after being listed on eBay, which is where its journey home began.

The clock that was stolen in a burglary in January 2015. Picture from Sussex Police

Police added the eBay purchaser, who wished to remain anonymous, spotted the listing and undertook some research after reading the clock’s personalised plaque and feeling concerned such a personal possession would not have been sold legitimately.

He researched the victim’s grandfather and found an article in a local newspaper about the burglary. He then contacted local radio but after being unsuccessful, contacted Sussex Police.

Detectives from Hastings CID then contacted Paul and Annette to inform them the clock had been located.

Paul said: “I was absolutely astounded and delighted. I am so grateful to the finder, who would only let me cover his purchase fee on the understanding that he could donate it to a firefighters’ benevolent fund. He was an ex-Metropolitan firefighter who retired some years ago.”

The clock’s personalised plaque. Picture from Sussex Police

Detective Sergeant Chris Milner said: “We were delighted to be able to reunite this item with the owner, and it also shows the vital importance of police actions such as listing items on property databases and publicising such crimes in media releases in the hope that one day they will be identified and returned.”