A MAN will appear in court charged with handling stolen goods after £100k of guns stolen from Basildon lorry.
Jason Balding, 33, of Nicholson Crescent in Benfleet was arrested yesterday after police raided homes in Southend and Benfleet.
He is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates’ Court this morning.
Fourteen people have now been arrested after 83 guns worth £100,000 were stolen off the back of a lorry on the Burnt Mills Industrial Estate in Basildon on April 18.
Officers have so far only recovered a “handful” of the 24 shotguns and 59 rifles- used for sports such as clay pigeon shooting.
The firearms were stolen off the back of a lorry as it was parked overnight in Swinbourne Road, while its driver stopped for a break.
Four men from Thurrock appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court, in connection with the theft on May 2, charged with conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to possess a firearm without a licence.
They have been remanded in custody until July .
Yesterday’s police raids were in Beresford Road, Southend, Electric Avenue, Westcliff and Nicholson Crescent in Benfleet, as police tried to recover the outstanding firearms.
A 20-year-old woman from Westcliff was arrested and questioned on suspicion of handling stolen goods and drug offences. She has been released on police bail pending further enquiries until Monday August 11.
A 34-year-old man from Southend was arrested and questioned on suspicion of handling stolen goods and drug offences. He has been bailed pending further enquiries until Monday August 11.
A 30-year-old man from Southend was arrested and questioned on suspicion of drug offences. He has been bailed pending further enquiries until Wednesday August 13.
During yesterday’s operation, a suspect made off from police in a VW van.
The vehicle was in collision with a police car in Blenheim Chase, Leigh just before 11am.
The vehicle failed to stop at the scene and was later discovered near a hotel in Eastern Esplanade, Southend. Enquiries are continuing to locate the driver.
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.