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Solar panels marked with SmartWater recovered

Solar panels worth thousands of pounds have been recovered by police after they were marked with Smartwater forensic technology.

Solar panels

In March, more than 150 solar panels were stolen from a site in Deansford Lane in Kidderminster.

The panels had been marked with Smartwater, an invisible liquid detectable only under a UV torch. The forensic technology has a unique code matching marked property to the owner.

Following the theft an investigation was launched to recover the stolen goods, worth thousands of pounds, and arrest those suspected of being involved.

On Friday (3 May), West Mercia Police, with the support of Staffordshire Police, visited an address in Castle Street in Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

During a search of the address solar panels marked with SmartWater were recovered.

The forensic marking meant police could identify the panels as those stolen in the previous theft.

Two people were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and have been released under investigation.

The activity was part of We Don't Buy Crime, which is West Mercia Police's response to tackling acquisitive crime, crimes such as burglary and theft.

Sergeant Ram Aston, project lead for We Don't Buy Crime, said: "Thefts such as this have a huge impact on people's livelihoods and when they happen we will do all we can to make sure we recover the stolen property and arrest those suspected of being involved.

"This activity was a great example of the partnership work we do with our bordering forces and I'm really grateful to Staffordshire Police for their officers support in helping us recover the solar panels.

"We Don't Buy Crime has many different facets, one of which includes encouraging people to security mark their property with a product such as SmartWater.

"By doing so, in the unlikely event the property does get stolen the forensic technology means we can reunite the property with their rightful owner as well as catch people in possession of property that clearly doesn't belong to them."

We Don't Buy Crime is supported by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.

West Mercia Police is currently running Protect aimed at working in partnership with other agencies to disrupt serious and organised crime. To find out more about Protect visit www.westmercia.police.uk/protect

 

ISSUED: 9am 090519 EH

Published 09/05/19