THE detective searching for £56,000-worth of silverware stolen from a church in Droitwich says he knows who is responsible for the theft.

The sacred items were taken from St Andrews Church on June 26, and have yet to be recovered.

Detective Constable Thomas Court, who has been investigating the burglary told the Worcester News, a man who is currently in prison, has admitted to the crime.

Speaking on Thursday, the detective said: “This week we visited the suspect of the burglary, who is currently in HMP Hewell.

“He admitted to the offence and told us where he had hidden the silverware.”

After the prisoner’s admission, DC Court said police obtained an urgent warrant from magistrates, but on executing it, they found the items had been moved.

He said – after “reviewing the evidence” – we discovered that the suspect had been in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham “around the time of the burglary”.

DC Court and Detective Sergeant Alex Denny made their way there – with the new evidence having “caused us massive worries”, according to the former.

However, he said: “On reviewing CCTV, we established he did not attend the area with the silver.”

The detective has appealed to anyone who has the items to return them to the church or any police station.

He: “These priceless and sacred pieces are still out there. Somebody, somewhere, knows something about this.

“They have been moved from the location they were hidden in and are still outstanding.

“We need them returned to the church so that future generations can have use of them.

“We are happy for the person who has possession of them to just return them to the church.”

He said if the silver is returned, “no questions will be asked”.

“They can even be left in the church without talking to people there.

“They can also be handed in to any police station.

“We know who has committed the burglary, all we want now is their safe return,” he added.

The St Andrew's Street church took to Facebook to thank those who have so far helped in the investigation.

Call 101 with any information.