UK police detain two near home of singer Joss Stone

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 15, 2011 5:43 AM
UK police detain two near home of singer Joss Stone

LONDON (Reuters) - Police in southwest England have arrested and detained two men on suspicion of conspiracy to rob and murder near the home of chart-topping soul singer Joss Stone, they said in a statement on Wednesday.

Devon and Cornwall Police were alerted by suspicious locals and arrested the pair in the town of Cullompton, in the county of Devon, on Monday morning.

The men, aged 30 and 33, were initially held for possessing an offensive weapon and being equipped for burglary and theft.

"As a result of enquiries the two men are now being detained for the further offences of conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to murder," the police statement said.

"Major crime detectives are continuing to investigate."

The Sun newspaper reported that the men were involved in a suspected plot to kidnap Stone, 24, who has sold around 11 million albums and has a personal fortune estimated at nine million pounds.

Police did not name Stone in the statement.

But Detective Inspector Steve Parker, who is leading the investigation, said: "The two men in custody had in their possession information relating to an individual in the Cullompton area and items which lead us to suspect that they may have intended to commit a criminal offence.

"Police enquiries continue and the men remain in custody. We're unable to say anymore at this time but I would like to thank the local residents for reporting the suspicious car.

"Our officers are currently carrying out reassurance patrols and it's important to stress that no properties have been burgled and no individuals have been harmed."

A spokesman for the singer said she was aware of the arrests and was being kept informed of developments. It was not immediately clear whether she was at her home in the Cullompton area on Monday.

Stone, who attended the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April, is due to go on tour next month.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; editing by Keith Weir)