updated 10/14/2008 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/14/2008 AT 10:25 AM ET
“It has come as a terrible shock to Victoria and David,” a friend tells PEOPLE. “They have been told not to talk about it now because of legal action.”
The items allegedly include dresses belonging to Victoria and sporting memorabilia of her soccer star husband that were stored at their 24-acre English mansion and estate. Dubbed Beckingham Palace, it is located north of London in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.
On Friday, reports the BBC, Eric Emmett, 55, and his wife June, 56, were arrested on suspicion of theft and released on bail. Also arrested and released on bail, say police, was a 25-year-old man from Essex.
“Police are currently investigating an allegation of theft from a private address in Sawbridgeworth. The theft was reported to police at 4:45 p.m. Friday October 10. Three people have been arrested on suspicion of theft,” said a police statement given to PEOPLE.
Those arrested are to return to face authorities in November. As is British custom, police do not release names of arrested people.
“We are working with Hertfordshire Police to establish the facts surrounding this alleged theft,” eBay says in a statement given to PEOPLE. “eBay will not tolerate stolen and illegal items being listed on the site. If it transpires that our site was being used to list stolen goods then we will work with the police to press for the harshest penalties.”
A source close to the couple tells PEOPLE that they have been shaken by the events. “This is not a happy episode for them, seeing their private possessions taken,” says the source. “They will try to move on from this.”