Police recover huge haul of stolen goods

Police in the Black Country have recovered a huge haul of stolen toys, collectables and old comics worth over half-a-million pounds.

Officers retrieved the items while leading an investigation into large-scale burglaries in the Black Country and Cheshire which are believed to be linked. They executed a series of raids which resulted in tens of thousands of boxes filled with stolen goods such as Marvel, Star Wars, Transformers and other action figures being found.

There were Game of Thrones souvenirs, board games, imported collectables from across the globe and comics dating back decades which were also recovered.

The items had been stolen from an industrial unit in Wolverhampton, where they were being stored by an online business which trades worldwide, in September and also an associated distributor's warehouse in Runcorn in October. Police acted on information and found around £200,000 worth of stock inside large trailers on a storage yard in Highfields Road, Bilston, last month.

They then received further intelligence about some of the other stolen collectables being sold online which resulted in a raid on a business unit in Yorkshire. It saw the discovery of thousands more stolen goods and led to a 42-year-old man being arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. He has since been released under investigation while enquiries continue. DC Emily-Jane Parker, from force CID, said:

"We’ve managed to seize and return a huge haul of stolen goods taken during the burglaries. We retrieved tens of thousands of boxes packed full of toys and collectables which would have made hundreds of thousands of pounds if all sold on.

"We believe these were stolen as part of an organised operation which impacted upon not only the West Midlands, but elsewhere in the country. 

"We know the financial and emotional impact of being a burglary victim and we’re pleased to have recovered such a substantial amount of ‘hot property.

"The business owners told us it has returned their livelihoods and we're humbled to have been able to do so - especially given the impact of the pandemic. But we won’t let up until we catch and charge those responsible and our enquiries are very much ongoing."

Officers also retrieved more items taken from the Wolverhampton unit following a warrant an address in Wednesfield last week. They have now all been returned to their rightful owners, helping to secure the future of the business which trades in the likes of action figures, collectables and comics.


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