At the request of the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office, yesterday (Sunday) the federal police launched a public appeal.
This was in respect of two violent thefts committed on Saturday February 25th and Thursday March 2nd by three or four masked individuals in Uccle.
The first crime was committed in a house located in Avenue du Vert Chasseur, on February 25th, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. The victims were at home when the crooks entered the premises.
The perpetrators took valuables but fled in a black Volvo V60 belonging to one of the victims. The vehicle was found the same day around 7.45 p.m. at 11 Chaussée de Boitsfort in Ixelles. A facial composite of one of the perpetrators has been established. He is a man of North African origin aged around 35, between 1.7 metres and 1.75 metres in height. He has dark-coloured eyes and short hair. The perpetrators were travelling, at the time, in a white Hyundai ix 35.
The second crime was committed between 8.15 p.m. and 9.10 p.m., on March 2nd, in a house located on Avenue Hamoir. The perpetrators threatened the victim and looted major items, namely paintings by renowned artists, a stamp collection and other valuables.
The particular paintings are “The Man with the Hat” by Edouard Vuillard, “Lake in Winter” by William Degouve de Nuncques and “The Holy Famiily in a Vast Landscape” by Lucas Gassel from Helmont. Also taken were the paintings “Horses at the Seaside” by Giorgio de Chirico, “Fruit and Insect Still Life” by Jacob van Hulsdonk and the “Man’s Head” composition by Jef Leempoels. Amongst the stolen objects, there was also an Olympic Games 1912 medal, a Philippe Patek watch, and imperforate stamp albums (for France and Europe) originally belonging to Robert Hennet and an African stamp album from 1900. There were also two further African stamp albums and a Congo stamp album (the dates of which were unknown) taken.
The police believe that both crimes may have been committed by the same gang, as the thugs threatened each time to cut victims’ fingers if they did not cooperate.
Anybody with information relating to the incidents who saw suspicious activities close to either premises at the respective times, or who has seen objects from these thefts offered for sale, is asked to make contact with the investigators.
Such witnesses should use the freephone number 0800/30.300. Witnesses can also make contact by e-mail at the address: [email protected]. In the event that you do contact the police they assure you that all information will be treated in confidence.