GPS system helps police trace £13,000 of stolen goods in Northumberland

Police news
Police news

Motor Patrols officers at Northumbria Police have harnessed GPS to find high value stolen goods worth around £13,000 in Northumberland.

At around 8.20am on Tuesday, the Force received a report of a burglary at a converted shed at Belsay Hall Lodge, where a Timberwolf woodchipper and a Honda quad bike were stolen.

There was no CCTV of the burglary to assist officers with their investigation, but fortunately the owner had fitted their equipment with a tracking system on the advice of police in Northern Area Command.

Police were able to link in with the tracking company who were able to give them an indication of where the stolen goods may be.

And, within just five hours after the receiving the report officers had tracked the quad bike down to Longhirst and the stolen woodchipper to an area of Pegswood.

The items - which are each worth around £6,500 - have since been returned to the English Heritage site which had secured the GPS system from a private company.

Chief Inspector John Heckels, of Northumbria Police's Operations Department, said: "This was an example of great partnership work between our traffic officers and officers from Northern Area Command.

"It can be extremely difficult to find stolen goods in this type of rural area so it was vital that we worked quickly and efficiently to return the quad bike and the chipper back to those at Belsay Lodge Hall.

"We would always advise owners of expensive equipment to invest in this type of technology as it gives us the best chance of locating the goods quickly and identifying those responsible.

"Those who think they can get away with crime in rural Northumberland should be aware that we have more tools than ever before to track you down and put you before the courts."

Police have also praised a member of the public who received a FarmWatch bulletin with the details of the stolen goods and subsequently reported seeing something similar items at a nearby location.

Officers were able to attend the location and eliminate the equipment from their inquiries, but Chief Inspector Heckels has praised the proactive approach from this particular individual.

He added: "We often rely on intelligence from our local communities, particularly in rural areas, and this was a great example of the public working with the police to help narrow our investigation."

Inquiries are ongoing to find those responsible for the burglarly and anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference 197 14/06/16.