Police want to reunite stolen items with their rightful owners

D.C.I. Mike Ashcroft of Sussex Police with jewelry and antiques retrieved from a raid which they would like to reunite with their owners  E09082N

D.C.I. Mike Ashcroft of Sussex Police with jewelry and antiques retrieved from a raid which they would like to reunite with their owners E09082N

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STOLEN clocks, barometers, jewellery and other antiques seized by the police have been photographed and put online in a bid to reunite them with their rightful owners.

More than 500 letters have been sent out to burglary victims across Sussex after 4,000 pieces, of what police believe may be stolen items, were found in Eastbourne town centre.

Detectives from East Sussex Divisional Intelligence Unit recently seized the jewellery, which includes a huge quantity of rings, necklaces, bracelets and watches, from an undisclosed location in Eastbourne town centre.

Detective Sergeant Anita Turner, who has been leading the painstaking operation of itemising and photographing every single piece of jewellery, said, “This has been the biggest haul of seized jewellery I have certainly come across in my time as a detective.

“Not all of the jewellery is of a very high monetary value but I’m sure most of it will have significant value for the owners – we owe it to them to at least try and return their jewellery to them.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft said he was unable to give details because there were ongoing investigations. However, he said intelligence had led officers to believe the items were stolen from Eastbourne and across East and West Sussex.

He said, “We are very keen to repatriate this property as soon as we possibly can but we are aware of the fact that we need to ensure that the people that come forward are genuine victims.”

DCI Ashcroft said vitims claiming their stolen items would have to fill in a form and there would be ‘robust’ checks before the property was released. He said it was unfortunate it would take time for the genuine victims but explained it was a necessary measure.

DS Turner added, “There are too many items for us to check individually, so we’re asking people who reported items missing or stolen since January 2011 to have a look at the jewellery online and see if they recognise anything and if so, then fill in the very basic form and we can take it from there.”

Pictures of all the items can be found at www.goldrush.sussex-police.co.uk.

People without internet access can call police on 101, quoting serial 0534 of February 20.