British police crack case of prolific egg thief

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2011 10:31 AM
British police crack case of prolific egg thief

A hard-boiled British thief who snatched hundreds of eggs from the nests of rare birds including ospreys, avocets and golden eagles has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Matthew Gonshaw pleaded guilty to 10 charges including possessing wild or protected bird eggs and was sentenced Tuesday. It is the fourth time he has been jailed for egg theft.

Police who raided Gonshaw's London home in June found more than 700 eggs, along with camouflage clothing, climbing equipment and maps.

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Prosecution lawyer Becky Owen said "Gonshaw's criminal actions caused untold damage to wildlife in the U.K."

Constable Stephen Rodgers of the police wildlife crime unit said that Gonshaw's egg-collecting obsession "threatens some of our rarest and most precious species."