New Bedford man indicted on 19 counts of Larceny for allegedly stealing whaling museum artifacts – New Bedford Guide

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“The 42-year-old New Bedford man previously employed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum who was arrested earlier this year for allegedly stealing artifacts from the museum has been indicted by the Bristol County Grand Jury and will be arraigned early next month, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Robert M. Burchell has been indicted by the grand jury on 19 counts of Larceny over $1,200. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Fall River Superior Court on these indictments on April 7th.

On January 5, 2023, New Bedford Police arrested Robert M. Burchell, 42, of New Bedford, and charged him with Larceny from a Building.

Burchell was employed as a facilities associate at the museum for the past two years. It is alleged that Burchell stole dozens of pocket-sized items from the museum and sold the artifacts at local antique and pawn shops for cash. A shop owner in West Bridgewater, who bought some of the artifacts from Burchell, tipped off police to his suspicion that the items were rare and likely stolen.

Burchell was initially arraigned on larceny charges in New Bedford District Court on January 6th. The court imposed a cash bail of $5,000 and ordered Burchell to stay away from the museum and have no contact with museum employees.

The total value of the items stolen by Burchell is believed to exceed $150,000. At the present time, most of the items have been returned to the museum. The investigation continues.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael Scott, the chief of District Attorney Quinn’s Financial Crimes Unit.

Since the defendant has yet to be arraigned on the new indictments in open court, no further facts of the case can be publicly disseminated at this time.”- District Attorney Quinn’s Office.

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