Kent Police Recover £1 Million Worth of Stolen Tools

Over 3,500 Items Worth £1 Million Seized in Swattenden Following Power Tool Tracker Lead

Kent Police Recover £1 Million Worth of Suspected Stolen Tools
Photo - Kent Police

In a significant breakthrough, officers from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force, in collaboration with Thames Valley Police, have catalogued over 3,500 items suspected to be stolen, with an estimated combined value exceeding £1 million. The operation began with the search for a power tool equipped with a tracking device, leading to the discovery of a massive stash of stolen goods.

The investigation was initiated after a victim of power tool theft, who had previously been targeted, decided to attach trackers to their tools. A tracker on a stolen drill directed officers to an address in Swattenden. On April 26, 2024, a warrant was executed at the location, uncovering a trove of stolen items including a quad bike stolen from Ashford and six caravans reported stolen from various locations nationwide such as Bristol, Wales, Southampton, Staffordshire, and Sussex.

After an extensive cataloguing process, officers listed the recovered items, which include:

  • Drills and impact drivers
  • Saws
  • Angle grinders
  • Multi-tools
  • Nail guns
  • Generators
  • Disc cutters
  • Hand tools
  • Garden power tools
  • Laser levels
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Radios
  • Other miscellaneous electrical tools/items

The brands of the items include well-known names such as DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch, Hitachi, and Stihl.

Kent Police are now seeking to identify the rightful owners of these tools. Victims of power tool thefts are encouraged to review the list of items and manufacturers and get in touch if they believe their property may have been recovered. To claim an item, individuals need to email Op.Thames@kent.police.uk with proof of purchase, serial numbers, and/or details of unique identifying features. If the item has been reported stolen, providing the crime reference number and/or the date and location of the theft is also necessary.

The email address will remain open until 11:59 pm on Sunday, July 21, 2024. Due to the anticipated large response, applicants are asked to be patient as officers work through the claims.

In connection with the case, five local men aged between 18 and 44, a 19-year-old woman, and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of multiple theft-related offences. They have since been bailed pending further investigations.

This operation highlights the importance of using tracking devices on valuable property and the effectiveness of coordinated police efforts in recovering stolen goods and bringing suspects to justice.

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