Police search for a power drill with a tracker leads to £1m haul of 3,500 'stolen' tools

Police searching for a power tool were led to an address - where they discovered a 3,500-strong stash of suspected stolen goods worth a staggering £1million.

A tracker fitted to a stolen drill directed officers to a property in rural Kent, where a raid was carried out in late April.

There they found the huge haul of goods believed to have been stolen from across Britain - which police now hope to return to the rightful owners.

Officers discovered a variety of power tools as well as a quad bike and caravans taken from as far away as Bristol, Staffordshire and Wales.

A search for one power tool with a tracking device led to the seizure of over 3,500 suspected stolen items for which officers would now like to identify owners

A search for one power tool with a tracking device led to the seizure of over 3,500 suspected stolen items for which officers would now like to identify owners

Officers have finished cataloguing the items since recovering them on 26 April 2024, and the latest estimate of their combined value is believed to exceed £1million

Officers have finished cataloguing the items since recovering them on 26 April 2024, and the latest estimate of their combined value is believed to exceed £1million

Five local men, aged between 18 and 44, were arrested alongside a 19-year-old woman and 17-year-old boy on suspicion of multiple offences relating to theft.

They have since been bailed pending further investigations.

Kent Police said: 'A search for one power tool with a tracking device led to the seizure of over 3,500 suspected stolen items for which officers would now like to identify owners.

'Officers have finished cataloguing the items since recovering them on 26 April 2024, and the latest estimate of their combined value is believed to exceed one million pounds.

'The victim of a theft of power tools, who had previously been targeted by thieves, attached trackers to their tools.

'A tracker on a stolen drill led officers from Kent Police's Rural Task Force to obtain and execute a warrant, assisted by colleagues from Thames Valley Police, at an address in Swattenden.

A tracker on a stolen drill led officers from Kent Police's Rural Task Force to obtain and execute a warrant, assisted by colleagues from Thames Valley Police, at an address in Swattenden

A tracker on a stolen drill led officers from Kent Police's Rural Task Force to obtain and execute a warrant, assisted by colleagues from Thames Valley Police, at an address in Swattenden

'In the search for the tracked item, officers uncovered a large haul of suspected stolen goods, including a quad bike confirmed to be stolen from Ashford, and six caravans stolen from locations nationwide including Bristol, Wales, Southampton, Staffordshire and Sussex.'

Members of the public who have been victims of power tool thefts are being encouraged to look at the below list of items and manufacturers and get in contact if they believe their property may have been recovered as part of this operation.

To claim an item, applicants need to email Op.Thames@**kent.police**.uk with either proof of purchase, serial number(s), and/or details of unique identifying features.

If the item has been reported stolen, the crime reference number and/or date and location of the theft should also be provided.

The email address will remain open until 11.59pm on July 21, 2024.

The items that have been recovered and catalogued include:

Brands of items include DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch, Hitachi and Stihl.

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