Former New Bedford Whaling Museum employee accused of stealing dozens of artifacts, selling to shops

NEW BEDFORD- — A former New Bedford Whaling Museum employee is facing charges of stealing dozens of artifacts from the 119-year-old museum.

Robert M. Burchell, 42, is facing charges of larceny from a building after allegedly lifting items valued at over $75,000.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office, Burchell, who was employed at the museum for the past two years, stole dozens of pocket-sized items from the museum before selling them to local artifacts and pawn shops. The DA’s office says a shop owner in West Bridgewater who bought some of Burchell’s items alerted police the artifacts may have been stolen.

Some of the items have not been returned to the museum yet.

Burchell was arraigned on larceny charges in New Bedford District Court on January 6. Burchell will next appear in court on January 31.

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