The importance of marking high-value items has been highlighted after tools were returned to an Ashford business two years after they were stolen.

The company near Willesborough had its depot broken into in August 2019 and power tools worth an estimated £5,000 were stolen.

A vehicle suspected to have been involved in the burglary was found damaged by fire nearby but, following an investigation, no further lines of enquiry were identified at the time.

Then, earlier this year, Kent Police’s Rural Task Force carried out a warrant near Hoo and a number of items suspected to be stolen were seized.

An officer noticed that a power saw, a concrete breaker, an angle grinder and batteries had been marked as property of the company previously burgled near Ashford and the items have since been returned to their rightful owner.


PC Michael Sutton, of the Rural Task Force, said: ‘The theft of these tools must have caused considerable frustration to this company, but I am pleased we have now been able to return them, albeit after some time.

‘This case shows the importance to firms of labelling equipment and other items in a way which cannot easily be removed.

tools tablet
The returned power tools

‘Items should also be logged on a property list, recording the make, model, serial number and description, which will help us reunite any stolen items with victims if they are later recovered.

‘I would also urge rural businesses to ensure they have CCTV and alarms at their premises and that any heavy machinery is fitted with immobilisers and trackers.’

For more crime prevention advice, visit

By Ed

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