A burglar who stole an invaluable collection of antique coins was sentenced to four years in prison, despite still being on the run.
Dominik Kuzio, 31, of no fixed abode, robbed Simon Bendall’s Westminster home in 2018, stealing his collection of ancient coins, medals, spoons and watches, as well as a laptop.
Kuzio was convicted at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 18 October, however he failed to answer his bail date or acknowledge that he had been charged.
Officers believe that Kuzio may have fled to Poland, but remain open to the possibility that the fugitive could still be in the UK.
Detective Constable Samuel Turner described the outcome as “bittersweet” given the fact that they have not located the offender.
Bendall, who died in 2019 aged 80, was a world-renowned expert on ancient artefacts and had been accumulating his collection of Byzantine coins since he was a teenager.
He was out enjoying an afternoon with his friends at a local pub when Kuzio broke in, burgled and ransacked his apartment.
His stolen property, worth £100,000, was never returned to him, and police still do not know its whereabouts.
Turner said: “Any burglary is a heinous crime because it is so callous and invasive, but in this instance it is all the more upsetting for Mr Bendall’s family because the treasured items that were so personal to him.
“My direct advice to Kuzio would be to do the honourable thing and give yourself up. It is only a matter of time before you are found, and this sentence is still going to be there when you are.”
Police urge anyone has information about Kuzio’s current location, or that Bendall’s stolen coin collection to phone 101 or to tweet @MetCC ref CRIS 6507683/18.
Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.