MIDHURST and Petworth police have mounted a major operation to reunite people with their property after recovering thousands of pounds worth of stolen equipment.
After fighting a crimewave which struck the area in August, police officers had a major success when they searched the homes of two suspects.
They found chainsaws, lawnmowers, generators, strimmers and electrical tools as well as iPods, a sat nav and car radios.
In total, they recovered 67 items worth several thousand pounds.
But now they have the difficult task of reuniting all the equipment with their rightful owners.
Sgt Chris White of Chichester police told the Observer: “We have searched our data base of reported thefts and contacted as many people as we can, but in some cases owners did not know serial numbers of their property and they have come in and found it was not their property.”
Police are also going back to the manufacturers of some items to see if they can locate addresses.
They have created a photo album of every piece of their facebook page
Details of recovered property can also be found at sussex police website
Now they are appealing through the Observer for people to come forward if they think some of the equipment could be theirs.
“We are very keen to reunite people with all their property,” said Sgt White.
“We are desperately trying to get people to come in and identify all this machinery.”
He said he suspected the property had been stolen mainly from the Petworth, Lurgashall, Northchapel and Plaistow areas as these had been targeted in the crime spree throughout August and September.
“We had been keeping an eye on a couple of people and after arresting someone in London on Friday, Chichester police searched his house and found 50 per cent of the property.
“We arrested another person in Littlehampton and found the remainder of the recovered property there.”
The two are now on bail while police carry out further investigations.
“We have had quite a bit of success in the past three weeks, including dealing with thefts from cars left at beauty spots north of the Downs,” said Sgt White.
Last month police urged people to remove all valuables from their cars and lock sheds after 41 overnight thefts in just over a month.
They launched special night-time patrols throughout the summer to try to catch criminals in the act.
If you believe any of the items are yours, you should contact PCSO Daniel Sibun, email@example.com to make an appointment to look at the recovered property.