You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Woman admits to theft of Franklin bust

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A housekeeper has pleaded guilty in the theft of a Benjamin Franklin bust allegedly worth $3 million that was taken from a home in suburban Philadelphia.

Andrea Lawton, 47, of Mobile, Ala., was living in Philadelphia when the bust was stolen Aug. 24. She allegedly fled to Alabama with the bust, before she was arrested Sept. 21 getting off a Greyhound bus in Elkton, Md., where she had planned to sell the sculpture.

Continue reading below

Lawton told investigators she stole the bust because she wanted to get the owner of the cleaning service for whom she worked fired. She said crews who cleaned the home had been told it was valuable.

The 25-pound bust is one of only four created by French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon and was made while Franklin visited Paris in 1778.

Lawton pleaded guilty to state burglary charges Monday. She already faces a federal prison sentence, having pleaded guilty in December to interstate transportation of stolen property. She will be sentenced on that charge May 20.

Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Carluccio did not immediately schedule sentencing on the state counts, saying she wants to know more about Lawton’s background.

The bust was broken while in Lawton’s possession and is being repaired by a New York City museum.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.