A team of officers working on van thefts in Derbyshire has recovered more than 300 power tools and seized seven vehicles in just over a month.
The work is part of Operation Pindell a dedicated operation focusing on van thefts in the county.
Last week Derbyshire Constabulary reported that officers from the team seized a Citroen Picasso in Derby that was full of power tools.
Police stated that they now know that these tools were from four separate victims of van thefts in Derby and Chesterfield and they have been able to return all the tools to their rightful owners.
A 25 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and has now been released under investigation.
In a separate incident, in the early hours of Thursday, November 23, officers found and seized a Peugeot estate full of tools in Derby.
All of these tools have now been returned to their owners in Nottingham. Enquiries are still ongoing to find the driver or owner of this car.
Inspector Jim Thompson, who is leading the operation, said: “We understand the impact this type of crime has on the hard-working victims.
“The crime has a double effect as the victim may not be able to work until the tools are replaced so the cost is two-fold.
“The team is working hard to target the criminals committing these crimes and we are pleased that we have been able to recover so many tools and seize the vehicles being used in the crime. We are determined to bring those responsible to justice.
“We would ask that owners of such equipment take any measures possible to help us prevent this type of crime by, where possible, emptying vans of the most expensive tools overnight.
“I totally understand that this is not always possible and so what I would also ask is that all tools are security marked, this allows our officers to quickly recognise that the recovered items are stolen and should not be in the possession of those we are seizing them from. It also allows us to quickly trace the owners, who as recent cases show, can be from all over the county or other counties.”
Anyone wishing to get more information about having tools security marked can contact their local Safer Neighbourhood team on 101 or alternatively send a message online by visiting the Contact Us section of the Derbyshire Constabulary website www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
It is also possible to register power tools with www.immobilise.com a free national property register that UK police forces can access.