Stolen property reunited with rightful owners in Buntingford

PUBLISHED: 11:14 20 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:14 20 November 2013

Some of the items stolen during burglaries in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex

Some of the items stolen during burglaries in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex

Archant

Nearly 80 items of stolen property were returned to their rightful owners by the police at the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, the North Herts Local Crime Unit and Safter Neighbourhood Teams from Herts police held an event at Hyde Hall Farm in Buntingford which saw more than 20 people reunited with their stolen garden equipment, bikes and tools.

The event was part of Operation Arctic – a drive created in response to a series of burglaries that took place in rural areas of North Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex between April and early November.

In Hertfordshire, the burglaries took place in Sandon, Rushden, Roe Green and Buntingford.

Following police investigations into the crime series, over 270 items, including tools, push bikes, diving equipment, fishing tackle and gardening equipment, were discovered stashed in two lock-up garages in Harlow and Surrey.

The estimated worth of all the stolen goods is about £100,000.

Three men and one woman were arrested on November 3 and 5 in connection with these incidents and are currently on police bail.

Police officers and volunteers contacted people who had experienced burglaries in affected areas and invited them to attend the event to see if they could identify their stolen items.

Detective Inspector Amanda Bell, who has been leading Operation Arctic, said: “Our teams started working on Operation Arctic as soon as the burglary series in rural areas of North Herts and East Herts began to emerge.

“After ongoing intelligence work, we were delighted to discover this huge amount of stolen items and have the chance to return them directly to their rightful owners. However, there are still many items yet to be claimed, therefore if you experienced a burglary from April to November, you live in one of the affected rural areas and you think there is a chance your stolen item could be amongst those we seized, please get in contact with us as soon as possible.” Call Herts police on 101.

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