Cambridgeshire

East of England burglary gang: Items claimed by victims

Jewellery recovered from thefts Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Although many items were recovered intact, police believe many more were melted down

More than 100 people have come forward to reclaim items from a £2m haul stolen by a gang who carried out 250 burglaries across five counties.

Rolex watches, diamond rings and coins are among "thousands of items" police are trying to reunite with their owners in the east of England.

Police said 19 people have been reunited with their property so far.

However, they admitted that "eventually we will need to sell items that aren't claimed".

Twelve men from an extended family were jailed for their roles in stealing jewellery, cash, cars and guns worth a total of £2m during an 11-month crime spree across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Police hope a compass engraved with a Robert Frost poem will be "distinctive" enough for its owner to recognise

After they were sentenced, Cambridgeshire Police released images of the items recovered and published them on its website, although Det Con Susan Burberry said there were likely to have been more as the gang "melted items down in order to sell the metal".

Since appealing for owners to come forward at the beginning of the month, police have received 116 inquiries.

One person has been reunited with their property and they hoping to return goods to eight others.

Property was returned to a further 18 people earlier in the investigation.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption A number of charm bracelets are among the haul, including a charm bracelet featuring an ice-skate

"We want to keep the appeal going for as long as possible in order to identify as many owners as we can," Det Con Burberry said.

She said she hoped some of the more distinctive items, such as a charm bracelet featuring an ice skate, would be easy to recognise, as would a compass which has a poem by Robert Frost engraved on it.

She said "ideally" officers would like people to show them a photograph of their item or have proof of purchase, but if they had reported the burglary at the time, police would consider claims "on a case-by-case basis and be reasonable".

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Watches, medals and coins were among the items taken by the burglars during their crime spree
Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Power tools, saddles and horse tack were also taken by the burglary gang

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