Housekeeper gets 6 years in Pa. ‘Ben’ bust theft

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (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.

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