Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ebay Scam Hits Record Office

Garth Bland, County Archivist of Loamshire, unaccustomed as he is to media attention, is currently weathering a storm over the sale of stolen manuscripts.

The whole sorry episode began when Loamshire Social Services Department responded to the former Home Secretary, David Blunkett's proposal for failed asylum seekers to be given community work. What better, their committee decided, than to allocate a family of failed eastern European asylum seekers to Loamshire Record Office, there to work on the immense backlog of boxing, packaging, numbering and First Aid conservation work in the strongrooms.

Their background in tinkering, the committee concluded, would ideally suit them to such a backlog, about which Garth had often complained. Here was the perfect solution.

Staff had begun to notice many documents were proving hard to find but attributed this to post-stocktaking fatigue on their part. However, Benedict Crumplethorne, our intrepid investigator had also for some time been observing the gradual sale of documents on Ebay, several plainly stamped LRO. A chance meeting with Alethea and Garth established the documents were indeed some of their missing charters.

Garth, convinced the matter was now proved beyond doubt, informed his committee chairman and the police but to his astonishment received the following response from the Chief Constable of Loamshire, Dr. I Grabham (PhD, University of Market Drayton):

We sympathise about the current spate of thefts of documents from your department. However, we are prevented from taking any action under the Human Rights Act and Loamshire Constabulary's own mission statement. Activity such as theft is an accepted and normal activity of Gypsies and as such is a sacrosanct part of their culture. We cannot investigate further or prosecute.

We suggest you open an Ebay account and start bidding! Best wishes, Iuan.

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