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New Iberia Man Dubbed Hero For Helping Stop A Thief Trying To Steal The Magna Carta

Oct 30, 2018 11:57AM ● By Staff Writer

In a story that has made international news, Acadiana's own Matthew Delcambre helped to stop a hammer-wielding thief who unsuccessfully tried to steal the Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral.  

While visiting Wiltshire, England this past week, Matthew Delcambre and his wife Alexis unexpectedly found themselves in the middle of an active crime scene as a would-be thief tried to smash his way into the enclosure that holds the historic Magna Carter.

According to reports, Delcambre, who is the director of the Center for Business & Information Technologies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, stated that he and his wife were sightseeing when a man tried to steal the precious manuscript in the church's Chapter House.

Witnessing the event unfold, Alexis tried to raise the alarm to others as Matthew and other bystanders banded together in an attempt to hold the thief behind the doors of the Chapter House. When the thief managed to push past them, Delcambre gave chase to an outer courtyard where he helped to disarm the man by knocking the hammer out of his hand and assisting a church employee tackle and hold the suspect down until police arrived.

Using a hammer the thief attempted to smash his way into the case and grab the Magna Carta. Photo by: REUTERS

 Officers arrested the 45-year-old man on suspicion of attempted theft, possession of an offensive weapon, and criminal damage. He has since been released on bail.

The Magna Carta, which dates to 1215, has not been damaged.

In an interview with The Sun-UK, Matt explained, “I couldn’t let him get away with it. The Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in the world… I just had to stop him.”

History of the Magna Carta

Magna Carta is one of the most celebrated documents in English history. At the time it was the solution to a political crisis in Medieval England, but its importance has endured as it has become recognized as a cornerstone of liberty influencing much of the civilized world. Only four copies of Magna Carta dating from 1215 have survived the ravages of time and Salisbury Cathedral is home to the best preserved original manuscript.  Source: Salisbury Cathedral 

 The Magna Carta, which Matt described as ‘One of the most important documents in the world.       Photo Credit: PA:PRESS ASSOCIATION