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SmartWater helps police recover thousands of pounds worth of stolen solar panels

By Dayna Farrington | Kidderminster | Crime | Published:

Thousands of pounds worth of solar panels have been recovered by police after being stolen from a site in Kidderminster.

The solar panels, which were stolen in Kidderminster, were recovered thanks to the SmartWater markings

In March this year, more than 150 solar panels were stolen from the site in Deansford Lane.

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, West Mercia Police launched an investigation to recover the stolen goods – believed to be worth thousands of pounds.

On Friday, May 3, West Mercia Police, with the support of Staffordshire Police, visited an address in Castle Street, in Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, and during a search they discovered the solar panels marked with SmartWater.

The forensic marking meant police could identify the panels quickly as those stolen in Kidderminster.

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 – 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.

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"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."

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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