Archaeologists channel spirit of Rastamouse as robber returns iPad to police in Liverpool

By Ben Miller | 04 March 2014

An unusual public appeal for the return of an iPad taken from an archaeology vehicle looks to have had a happy ending

A photo of an archaeologist in a light green jacket working on grass on a coastal cliff
Big Heritage at work at Land's End© Big Heritage
The compassionate offer of a Liverpool archaeology company to a thief, offering to provide an invaluable fortnight of training and historical insights should stolen objects including a replica bog body be returned, has led to a happily unexpected twist after an iPad swiped from a vehicle was returned to a local police station.

Merseyside Police, who Dean Paton, the Managing Director of Big Heritage, described as “wonderful”, contacted the company following an appeal on Facebook which was picked up by the national press.

Paton expects to recover the iPad and find out more on Thursday. It is not clear whether any of the pottery or tools from the vehicle, targeted during the Community Superstar Awards in Anfield, have been returned.

“Over 250,000 people saw our theft appeal, with a real divide of people who agreed with our stance, and others calling us idiots in offering the person a chance to redeem themselves,” said Paton.

“We're establishing contact details to ascertain whether [the returners] wish to take us up on our work placement offer.”

Writing on the Facebook page for Big Heritage, whose motto pledges to “put people at the heart of history”, Paton posted a picture of the words “be nice to people”, asking supporters to share the status as a symbol of “the potential of restorative justice” and “giving people a chance.”

“I really hope the person responsible takes you up on your offer,” replied one fan. “I agree with you giving the person responsible a chance to redeem themselves, and learn something in the process.”

Quoting Rastamouse, a crime-solving reggae band of rodents beloved of children’s television, Paton added that the group felt they had “turned a bad thing good.”

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More on this story:

Archaeologists ask robber to return items and receive two-week history rehabilitation
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