Rural Task Force officers from Kent Police helped to return £400,000 worth of stolen vehicles to their rightful owners in one month, that’s £13,000 worth each day.
Working closely with victims and other members of rural communities, the officers were able to locate and recover seven vehicles including high-value cars, bikes and even a tipper truck. The most expensive was a New Holland tractor valued at £186,000 that had been reported stolen from a location in the Maidstone area on Thursday 18 January 2024 and was found abandoned in West Peckham two days later.
On Tuesday 23 January officers discovered a £4,000 Yamaha motorbike in Aylesford after it had been reported stolen earlier in the month, and on Saturday 27 January they found an £80,000 Mercedes HGV in Tonbridge linked to a previous theft in Paddock Wood.
Sergeant Darren Walshaw of the Rural Task Force said:
‘We regularly recover stolen vehicles largely thanks to the close relationship we build with residents and businesses in rural areas who share information with us via online services including Farm Watcher UK and Country Eye. Some people also have trackers fitted to their vehicles that enable us to find them quickly and easily, and often we utilise technology such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras.
‘We know that for many victims the thing they want most is for their vehicle to be returned safely in one piece, so we are always very happy when we are able to achieve that for them whilst our enquiries to identify those responsible are ongoing.’