Operation CHISEL

Interception of containers at ports to recover stolen metal

Over £500,000 worth of stolen metals including vehicles and caravans were seized by officers from ERSOU (Eastern Region Special Operation Unit – following the conclusion of Operation Chisel.

Operation Chisel ran from January to March 2012 and was set up specifically to target the theft of metal in the region.
Officers intercepted containers at ports including London Thamesport, Tilbury, Felixstowe, Harwich and Dover as the items were about to be shipped abroad to West Africa, China, India and Northern Cyprus.

In total, 420 containers were examined of these, 88 containers were found to contain items of interest, including:Vehicles and caravans - many of these had been stolen during burglaries.

Also recovered during these searches were:

Vehicles with outstanding finance agreements
Over five hundred stolen liquid propane Gas Cylinder (LPG) cylinders - including 304 which were seized in one container.
Stolen infrastructure cabling
Scrap metal

In summary stolen vehicles valued at £160 000, vehicles on finance worth £320 000 and stolen metal valued at £40 000 were recovered during this operation.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01qqz31/The_Hunt_for_Britains_Metal_Thieves/