We first reported the theft of a large number of rare tropical bird specimens from a British museum last August on MidCurrent. Since then, no suspects had been named. Now Msnbc.com reports that the man accused of stealing almost 300 rare bird skins from Natural History Museum in Tring, England is Edwin Rist, a 22-year-old U.S. fly tier who is considered one of the best dressed salmon fly tiers in the world. British police say Rist broke into the museum last year and took the skins -- most of which they think have now been recovered -- from a collections area. He is charged with burglary and money laundering and will appear in Hemel Hempstead Magistrates' Court on November 26.
Edwin Rist and his brother Aaron won numerous international tying competitions and were profiled in a 2006 college news story that quoted master tier Edward Muzzeroll: "'Their ambition and the caliber of the work they do is astounding....'The fact that they're so young makes their accomplishments that much more remarkable. They tie better than most adults I know could ever dream.'"