American bird-skin-thief, Edwin Rist, has been sentenced. The hammer fell and it is a 12-month suspended sentence. Too bad it wasn't a British gaol.
As you may recall, young Edwin was arrested on November 12, 2010, accused of stealing several hundred rare bird skins from a British museum. He peddled the skins and feathers to gain money to put towards his studies and to buy a new flute. "One time, at band camp..."
He separated many of the bird skins, or feathers from them, and sold them on to other fly-tiers. A fly-tier alerted the police after he saw the media appeals and became suspicious when he was offered the skins for sale. Following the arrest and charge, a number of people around the world came forward with specimens they had unwittingly purchased from Rist and wanted to return. So far, 191 intact birds have been recovered, but only 101 still retain their labels, which are critical scientifically. Parts, such as feathers, have also been recovered from an estimated 31 further birds.