Police have arrested five people over the haul of stolen items found dumped in a Worthing pond.
Sussex Police’s specialist search unit recovered more than 850 items from a pond in Whitebeam Wood, Durrington after the haul was discovered by a woman walking her dog on July 23rd.
The recovered items were cleaned and examined and officers posted pictures of them at http://property.sussex.police.uk/view.asp?folder=OperationDelivery in case victims can identify their possessions.
If stolen they can be returned to their owners and officers may get more evidence that could help catch and prosecute those responsible for taking them.
Thanks to work by detectives and calls from members of the public, officers have been able to link items from the pond to six burglaries committed in West Sussex over the last 14 months and return the possessions to their owners.
Four men aged 26, 24, 20 and 18 and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested and questioned over the burglaries and released on bail until October 2nd.
Detective Constable Emma Fields said: “We believe most of the items in the pond were stolen in the last 18 months or so before being dumped there, possibly because the burglars could not sell them.
“Most of the victims who we have been able to return items to have been retired and the jewellery such as watches, necklaces and rings that we have been able to give them back had great sentimental value. In some cases they were 21st birthday presents, items they were given by their parents or family heirlooms.
“We are still very keen to reunite the remaining property with its owners so I would urge anyone who has been burgled over the last 18 months or so to visit the website to see if they can spot their items.”
The burglaries that have been linked to the pond were in Church Road, Worthing in July 2013, in Upper West Drive, Ferring in October 2013, in The Thatchway, Angmering in November, in Horsemere Green Lane, Climping in May and in Summerdown Close and Longlands Worthing, in June.
If you see or hear a burglary taking place call 999 immediately.
Residents are encouraged to register their items on the world’s largest property database so that if they are stolen, they can be reunited with the owners – and so the offenders can be prosecuted.