Stolen power tools


Hundreds of stolen tools belonging to tradesmen working across the North-west remain unclaimed - despite an appeal by police in St Helens last month.


The expensive drills, jig saws, chop saws and whizzers were seized by officers carrying out a warrant at a house in the town centre in December. A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and is currently on police bail until next month.


Detectives organised an Aladdin's Cave public open day in which people whose homes, sheds, garages or vehicles had been broken into could go along and see if their belongings were among those found during the raid.


But despite a positive response with things like laptops, games consoles, sat navs and even a BMX or two having been claimed, tools belonging to tradesmen who may have fallen victim to a burglar or thief years ago have been left behind.


Detective Constable Jeff Huxley, who has already reunited an Apple Mac with its rightful owner in Liverpool and some electrical testing kit with a utilities company in Berkshire, said the task had been a laborious one.


"This really has been a difficult task due to the sheer number of items we have found at this one house in St Helens," he said. "The officers who searched the property found tool boxes and equipment everywhere and spent seven hours documenting everything.


"The investigating was passed to CID and I have spent the past few months painstakingly trying to identify who each item originally belonged to.


"We have had some successes where things have been security marked, which is something we always advise you do, and the open day was worthwhile.


"But there are still many people out there, largely tradesmen, who have yet to come forward. Although the goods were seized in St Helens, they may have been stolen from elsewhere in the North-west.


"I suspect that most of them will belong to electrician and plumbers but could in theory belong to a whole range of tradesmen. My message to them is that if you have had things stolen from a works van in the months leading up to last December in St Helens or the surrounding area, email me with information about any distinctive features or markings and we will look to get them back to you."




Information you should look to provide as proof of ownership:


Details of any crime reference number or incident log number given to you by the police when you reported the original crime, regardless of which force you made the report to.


Any proof of purchase or ownership.


Details about any identifying marks that may be on the item being claimed as well as a description of it.


Anyone who is able to positively identify an item as belonging to them will be required to give a statement to the police as part of the evidential process.