A MAN from Grays will appear in court this week accused of stealing a £15,000 coin in Cambridgeshire.

The 51-year-old is also accused of taking a gold Roman coin in Norfolk worth £200 in an offence known as night hawking.

Night hawking is illegal metal-detecting on archaeological sites, or other areas of archaeological interest, and private land in order to recover treasure or other items of value.

It is performed where permission to survey and dig has been refused or never sought.

Essex Police takes a lead in England and Wales on night hawking and have been gathering intelligence on various national targets.

In April last year, officers were contacted by the British Museum who reported a suspected case of someone failing to declare treasure under the Treasure Act.

The following month officers seized the coins following search at a property in Grays.

The man will appear in Basildon Magistrates Court on Thursday, February 20 to face the charges.