Published: 17:00, 18 July 2018
| Updated: 17:25, 18 July 2018
More than 20 ancient human skulls have been stolen from a church crypt in Hythe.
The burglary took place between 4pm on Sunday and 10.40am the following day at the St Leonard's Church in Oak Walk.
The door had its lock damaged and a total of 21 skulls, some of which are believed to be around 700 years old, were stolen from a shelving display within the crypt.
Inspector Maxine Harris said: "We recognise this is perhaps an unusual theft, but these skulls were not free for the taking. They are part of an important collection, we are keen to see them back in their rightful place in the crypt.
"We would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the burglary.
"Also we ask people to get in touch if they have seen these skulls offered for sale.’
Revd Andrew Sweeney, Priest-in-Charge at St Leonard’s, said: "Each skull represents the mortal remains of a human being who deserves to rest in peace.
"This crime is shocking and unsettling for those in our community and we are grateful to the police for their help in this matter."
Anyone with information about the burglary, is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting reference number 16-419. Or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.