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.

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Officers have catalogued over 3,500 items thought to be worth around £1,000,000


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.

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.

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A small selection of the items recovered


The items that have been recovered and catalogued 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

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

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Returning items

Officers are keen to identity the rightful owners of the tools.

Members of the public who have been victims of power tool thefts are encouraged to look at the above 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 Sunday 21 July 2024.

Officers anticipate a large response, which will take a considerable amount of time to process. Applicants are politely asked to remain patient during this time.


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.

Additional advice

For advice on keeping tools and equipment safe, please visit the Secured By Design advice pages, here: https://www.securedbydesign.com/media/attachments/2021/07/13/sbd-security-leaflet-tool-theft.pdf

By Ed

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