Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Five-day forecast

Eagle-eyed police crack picture theft with Woodford Green discovery

Jon Astrop's stolen paintings, worth more than £20,000, were found in Woodford Green Jon Astrop's stolen paintings, worth more than £20,000, were found in Woodford Green

Thursday, February 6, 2014
3:10 PM

A painter was reunited with his life’s works, worth more than £20,000, when a policeman made a chance spot of a stolen van in Woodford Green.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Jon Astrop, 52, had been left “devastated” when more than 70 of his paintings were taken in the van he used for exhibitions and was facing the prospect of never seeing them again.

But luckily for him, police officers were able to track the stolen vehicle down to Armstrong Avenue through CCTV.

Mr Astrop, of North Finchley, said: “It was such a massive relief.”

He had stayed at a friend’s house, parking his van in School Way, North Finchley, on January 24.

But when he was ready to leave at 7am the next morning, he was shocked to realise that the van had disappeared.

He said: “It took a minute to sink in that it was gone. I kept thinking I parked it somewhere else. It was devastating to think all my work had gone.”

Mr Astrop has been painting for more than 40 years and grew up in an artistic family with his father who worked as a commercial artist and his mother who drew fashion drawings.

He said: “I absolutely love painting. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t paint. It’s a calling.”

But within half an hour of an appeal appearing on a television news programme, he received a call from the ­police that a Newham officer had seen the van and found it parked in Armstrong Avenue.

His van, along with his art, undamaged, was ­returned to him the following day.

He said: “When I was at my lowest point I was trying to work out how I could try and replace everything.

“But when I got that call saying they were found, I was so happy.”

Police are still hunting for those responsible. Det Sgt Dan Quigley of Barnet Police said: “We are hoping that the use of forensic evidence will assist us with identifying the suspects.”

n Anyone with information about the theft should call the police on 101.

Share this article

Most Read News...

Amar Raithatha, 25, who recently survived a cardiac arrest

Gym instructors save life of man, 25, who went into cardiac arrest on treadmill

A man who went into cardiac arrest while working out at the gym is thanking the instructors who saved his life.

Read full story »

0 comments

   Local advertisers

Other Crime & Court

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ilford Recorder on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Ilford businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ilford Recorder, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

The pop-up will mark Record Store Day, which is on Saturday (Picture: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

World’s smallest disco to open in Stoke Newington

Two musicians behind the ‘90s hit Brimful of Asha are launching the world’s smallest disco in Stoke Newington this weekend.

Read full story »