03:02AM, Monday 30 April 2012
A distinctive painting by British artist Sir Stanley Spencer was stolen from an art gallery in Cookham on Sunday.
It was taken by an offender who smashed a window at the Stanley Spencer Gallery in the High Street shortly before 1am and took the painting which was on display inside.
Entitled 'Cookham from Englefield' and dated 1948, it is privately owned and had been loaned to the gallery.
Police were alerted by a member of the public and are appealing for witnesses.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Iain Watkinson, of Force CID in Maidenhead, said the painting is of great sentimental value to the owners who are devastated by its loss.
"I would like to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious vehicles in the area, or a person or people acting suspiciously, around the time of the burglary," he said.
He urged people working in the art industry to be vigilant.
Anyone with information should contact Det Con Watkinson on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The candidates standing in the upcoming Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner election have outlined their priorities for policing in the region.