Tags: magna carta | theft | attempt | arrest

Magna Carta Theft Attempt: Man Arrested After Setting Off Alarms

magna carta in salisbury cathedral

Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral in England on March 21, 2017. (Philip Bird/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Sunday, 28 October 2018 08:27 AM

The Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral in England was the target of an attempted theft Thursday afternoon, which was foiled when the suspect smashed the glass box protecting the document, setting off alarms, BBC reported.

Police were quick to arrive at the scene, where they arrested the unidentified 45-year-old man on suspicion of attempted theft, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon, and transported him to Melksham police station.

A spokesperson for the cathedral confirmed the incident, noting that no injuries were sustained and that the document was not damaged.

A witness identified as Jenny told the Salisbury Journal that she was walking past the cathedral as the alarms were ringing, and saw the man being arrested.

"As we got to the stonemason's gateway, we heard some shouting and could see a few people coming out of the gates so we stopped," she said. "It looked like some men 'play-fighting' but as they got through the gates, I saw a hammer drop to the floor and one of the men kicked it into the road whilst another man held onto him."

She described how authorities "held onto him with hands behind his back whilst they picked up the hammer - lots of people around started to come over."

The cathedral's spokesperson noted that the Magna Carta would not be available to visitors in the days following the attempted robbery, but it would be back on display soon, BBC noted.

There are only four copies of the Magna Carta dating back to 1215, and the best-preserved copy is housed at the Salisbury Cathedral.

Issued in 1215 under the rule of England's King John, the Magna Carta was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and outlines the basic rights of citizens, according to The History Channel.

It is thought that the Salisbury copy was brought to Old Sarum by Elias of Dereham, priest and steward of the archbishop of Canterbury, days after events at Runnymede, the cathedral noted.

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A man was arrested for attempting to steal the Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral in England on Thursday afternoon after the glass box protecting the document was smashed, setting off alarms.
magna carta, theft, attempt, arrest
Sunday, 28 October 2018 08:27 AM
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