Arrests have been made and stolen items recovered by detectives investigating tool thefts in Whitstable.

Kent Police’s Chief Constable’s Crime Squad investigated two thefts in the town, which took place on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January 2023.

In the first incident, a van containing tools was stolen from the Cromwell Road area; in the second, power tools were stolen from a property in the Cornwallis Circle area.

Following enquiries, officers traced the stolen goods to elsewhere in the town and recovered them on Tuesday 17 January.

The stolen van was recovered on Tuesday 24 January in Canterbury after a report it was used to steal roofing materials from a store in Dover on the same day. The stolen materials were also traced and returned.

As part of the ongoing investigation:

  • A 42-year-old man from Whitstable was arrested on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen goods on Tuesday 17 January.
  • A 41-year-old man from Faversham was arrested on suspicion of burglary and attempted theft of a vehicle on Thursday 19 January.
  • A 36-year-old man from Maidstone was arrested on Tuesday 24 January on suspicion of theft from a shop, theft of a vehicle and dangerous driving.

All three men have been released on bail until dates in April.

Protect your tools

People are being urged to take steps to protect their tools against thieves following reports of thefts from vehicles in the district.

Detective Constable James Coomber, of the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘Anyone who uses a work van should empty it at the end of a day – if they can – and lock the contents securely away elsewhere. Keep an inventory of the tools, together with any serial numbers they have and also photograph anything valuable.

‘It is advisable to get your tools marked with identifiable identification such as initials and postcodes so if they are stolen, it will be difficult for criminals to sell on but easier to reunite any tools recovered by police.
‘Consider parking your vehicle near CCTV and security lights to deter any potential thieves.
‘Be wary of buying second-hand tools – especially if they already have initials or other identifying marks printed on them.

‘Finally, be alert to anything suspicious in the area and report it to Kent Police via our website or by calling 999 if a crime is in progress.’

By Ed

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