Firearms continue to be handed in after major theft

FOLLOWING an appeal to residents in Thurrock who may have mistakenly bought a number of firearms which had been stolen from a lorry in Basildon, a number of the weapons have already been recovered by police.

The shotguns and rifles, used for sporting purposes, were stolen from a lorry that had been parked on the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate on Friday, April 18. Following information given to police, detectives believe that the majority had been bought by people, in the run-up to the bank holiday weekend, with the mistaken belief that they were air weapons.

Since an appeal was made on Saturday afternoon (May 3) for people with these weapons to contact police, a handful of the guns have been retrieved by officers giving them “hope and encouragement” that those still with them in the Grays, Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary area will soon be doing likewise.

The police operation to locate and recover these stolen firearms continues, with officers ready to respond to information given to them. Anyone subsequently then found to be in possession of a firearm, faces possible arrest. Anyone convicted of this offence can be jailed for five years.

Anyone in possession of these suspected stolen firearms is urged to contact Essex Police on 999 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 and officers will attend their location.

Four people have been charged with conspiring to steal the firearms from the lorry and are currently remanded in court custody until the end of July.

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