In a real-life National Treasure-like heist, a man attempted to steal an authentic copy of the Magna Carta from the Salisbury Cathedral. The suspect, who police have only identified as a 45-year-old man, walked into the Cathedral at around 5 P.M. on October 25. He walked directly to the document’s display case and began repeatedly beating the display with a hammer. Alarms in the cathedral immediately sounded.
A cathedral spokesman said the man was able to create a gaping hole in the display box before police arrived. He was promptly taken into custody without further incident. The spokesman confirmed that no one was injured during the ordeal, and the Magna Carta document was not damaged. The suspect is being charged with attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage.
The Magna Carta, which is over 803 years old, is considered one of the greatest and most important documents in British history. The peace agreement was formed back in 1215. It was the first legal document to argue that no man, not even the king, was above the law. Today, only four copies of the document have survived. The one being held in Salisbury Cathedral is handwritten on a piece of calfskin.
As a result of the attempted heist, the Salisbury Cathedral has explained that the document won’t be available for viewing for the time being. The cathedral will be placing a copy of the important document in a temporary display until further notice. They explained that it will be back in its display as soon as possible. It remains unclear why the suspect hatched the bizarre plan, but authorities will continue to interrogate the suspect for more information.