Volkswagen Golf R Used as Getaway Car in $6 Million Gold Toilet Heist
The art installation, named “America,” was on loan from the Guggenheim at a British gallery.
It may sound like a Tarantino parody of The Italian Job, but it's not the work of Hollywood: British authorities are looking for a stolen Volkswagen Golf R used in the theft of an 18-karat solid gold toilet from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England.
According to The Guardian, this 227-pound toilet, named "America" by its Italian creator Maurizio Cattelan, was installed in Blenheim Palace early last month as part of an art exhibition. Because the piece has been appraised at up to $6 million, security was reportedly elevated for its presence, but evidently not enough to prevent five thieves from forcing entry to the palace's premises in the early hours of Sept. 14.
According to the Thames Valley Police, a crew of three burglars broke into Blenheim Palace to wrench the toilet from its fittings while two getaway drivers waited outside in stolen vehicles, one of them a blue Volkswagen Golf R. By 4:50 a.m., the intruders had extracted the toilet from the palace, loaded it into one of the vehicles, and departed.
Police have since recovered one of the getaway vehicles and arrested two British men in connection to the robbery, but three of the perpetrators remain at large, along with the Golf R (and the toilet). Despite surveillance images released by the TVP clearly depicting the car's license plate, authorities have been unable to track the Golf, as they believe the plate captured on camera to be counterfeit.
Based on the unknown whereabouts of the toilet and the Golf, and the above photo depicting the car with its hatch open, it may be reasonable to assume that the Golf was used to transport the stolen art. Police urge anyone who believes they may have sighted this vehicle on or since the morning of the heist to submit their evidence.
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