One of the many Meissen figures stolen on the afternoon of November 24.

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On the afternoon of November 24 thieves broke into a display case in the South Kensington museum and made off with 15 early Meissen figures.

They are between 3 and 6in (8-15cm) high, date from first half of the 18th century and include polychrome figures of a gardener with a watering can, right, a seated shepherd playing bagpipes with a dog at his feet, and a peasant woman carrying a basket on her back. Among the earliest is a figure of a beggar in the white c.1724-30.

The incident followed a well-organised theft in early October of nine Chinese jades from the Ceramics Galleries that itself had prompted a security review. While the museum had immediately doubled the number of patrolling guards, newly ordered security systems arrived too late to prevent the second raid. Mark Jones, director of the V&A, took the decision to close the Ceramic Galleries until the new systems were installed and in operation.

Given that both thefts were similar - executed by levering open one side of a locked glass cabinet - police are treating them as related. They are also considering a possible connection between these incidents and the theft of Tang and Yuan jewellery at the British Museum on October 29-30.

Anyone with any information about the latest incident should contact DC Phillip Booth of Notting Hill CID on 020 82467 0132.