Burglar jailed for Faberge raid

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The Independent Online

A petty thief working as part of a professional gang who broke into a stately home to steal a valuable collection of Fabergé eggs was jailed for three years yesterday.

Yukrain Stokes was finally captured by police six years after the break-in at Luton Hoo, the Bedfordshire country house that was one of the settings for the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, in 1994.

A jury at Luton Crown Court was told yesterday the stolen items of Fabergé antiques and eggs, thought to be worth about £500,000, had not been recovered. They are believed to have been flown out of the country within days of the burglary.

Stokes, 36, of Ardwick, Manchester, had been recruited by a professional team of thieves. The father of three, a petty thief in the 1980s, admitted burglary.

His role had been to press a square of sticky-backed sheeting to a ground floor window, which was then smashed. Stokes, who had a crack cocaine debt of £5,000, fled in panic while the gang went to work.

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