American charged with stealing stuffed birds in UK

British police say they have arrested and charged an American man for stealing hundreds of rare bird skins from a British museum outside London.

Detectives investigating the theft of nearly 300 brightly colored stuffed birds from the Natural History Museum in Tring arrested Edwin Rist on Friday.

Police said Monday the 22-year-old has been charged with burglary and money laundering offenses.

The bird skins disappeared after reports of a break-in at the museum in June last year.

Richard Lane, director of science at the museum, said the specimens were valuable and included male trogons and quetzals from Central and South America, and birds of paradise from New Guinea.

He said the bird collection at the museum, northwest of London, is one of the most important in the world.