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The man is described as being about 30 years old, 5ft 10in tall, olive-skinned with close cropped hair and driving a silver Mercedes. He has purchased silver with the chequebook at H and W Deutsch Antiques, London W8, about £6000 worth of silver at the Wiltshire salerooms of Woolley and Wallis and £2500 worth of jewellery at G.E. Sworder’s Essex salerooms.

He attempted to buy silver last week at John Nicholson’s Fernhurst salerooms, but was recognised by Mr Deutsch and fled the scene.

The matter is being investigated by DC Francombe of the Salisbury police. Tel: 01722 411444.