A MAN has been arrested after treasures worth more than £1 million were stolen in a late-night raid. 

"Irreplaceable" gold rosary beads carried by Mary Queen of Scots to her execution in 1587 were among the items stolen by thieves who broke into Arundel Castle in May.

The man, aged 45, was arrested at an address in Eckington, Worcestershire, on Tuesday morning.

He is in custody for interview about the burglary by Sussex officers in Gloucestershire.

The Argus: Items stolen from Arundel CastleItems stolen from Arundel Castle

Staff were alerted to the break-in at 10.30pm on Friday May 21, after a burglar alarm went off and police were scrambled to the scene.

Officers arrived within minutes but the priceless items were taken in the heist.

A 4×4 saloon car was found burnt out and abandoned and is thought to have been involved in the raid.

Sussex Police further announced today that eight warrants were executed by Sussex officers at addresses in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. 

Specialist search officers from Sussex Police and detection equipment were been deployed as part of the operation.

No warrants were executed or arrests made in Sussex.

Six other men who were also arrested are being interviewed by Gloucestershire and West Mercia officers in relation to alleged burglary, assault and drugs offences, all unrelated to the burglary.

A collection of valuable items of irreplaceable historical significance were taken.

The collection, valued at more than £1million, comprised;
1. Mary Queen of Scots Rosary Beads:
2. Seven gold / silver-gilt coronation cups (George II, George III, George IV, William IV, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II);
3. Gold Earl Marshal’s baton;
4. Gold and enamel baton;
5. Other miscellaneous items including 10 silver-gilt Apostle Spoons, a silver-gilt casket with hunting and fishing scenes, and a silver-gilt mug.

Detective Inspector Alan Pack of Sussex Police said; "Our investigation into the Arundel Castle burglary remains live and this action marks a significant step in our enquiries.

"I would encourage anyone with further information about this burglary to contact us, and also remind people that the insurers have offered a substantial reward should any of the property be recovered intact. You can also contact us either online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Deuce.

“We are very grateful for the co-operation of West Mercia, Gloucestershire and Thames Valley Police whose assistance demonstrates how together we will take action to seek to disrupt criminality of all kinds."

In June a reward was offered on the basis that any items stolen are returned in their original, undamaged, condition, subject to specific conditions, and anyone with information is asked to contact Simon Jones at loss adjusters Quadra Claims Services Ltd, email info@quadraclaims.co.uk, phone 0161 838 6600.

Also in June Sussex Police released photos of two ladders used by thieves who broke into the Castle and stole the items.

The Argus: Ladder used by Arundel Castle thieves Ladder used by Arundel Castle thieves

The two metal ladders, one 6ft long and one 12ft, but both capable of being extended to twice their lengths, were found at the castle and had been used by the thieves to gain access to the dining room area where a window was forced to gain entry.

The ladders had clearly been well used over some years. The long ladder has some distinctive black and yellow paint splashings and each has some worn labelling.

Police hope that someone in the decorating or building trade, or maybe someone who just had them at home, will realise that they are missing them, and will get in touch.