THIEVES distracted staff at an art gallery before stealing a bronze statue of an ancient Greek soldier.

The statue, valued at more than £3,000, was taken by two women from the Cloud Gallery in North Street, Chichester on Thursday, September 13.

Police were called after the theft at 1.30pm, and say that one suspect was a large woman in her mid 20s who wore sunglasses and a blouse. She distracted the staff member.

Meanwhile the second woman, a young woman aged between and 20, stole the sculpture and left the gallery.

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PC Tessa Heath said officers are working to recover the statue and return it to the rightful owner.

She said: “The women seized the opportunity to steal the statue, worth over £3,000, at a time when the gallery staff were busy with a delivery.

“Have you seen a statue resembling the one in the picture for sale recently?

“We would be keen to speak to anyone who noticed any suspicious behaviour in the area at this time.”

Information can be reported online or via 101 quoting 668 of 13/09.