Woman sentenced in statue theft
NORRISTOWN (AP) — A housekeeper has been sentenced to six years in federal prison in the theft of a Benjamin Franklin bust stolen in suburban Philadelphia and reportedly worth $3 million.
Andrea Lawton, 47, of Mobile, Ala., was living in Philadelphia when the bust was taken Aug. 24 from a home where she had worked as a housecleaner. She fled to Alabama with the bust and was arrested Sept. 21 in Elkton, Md., where she planned to sell it.
Lawton pleaded guilty in December to a federal charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. She pleaded guilty in April to a separate state charge of burglary.
The 25-pound bust was made by French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon while Franklin visited Paris in 1778. It was broken while in Lawton’s possession and is being repaired.