A driver who tracked his stolen van down to a warehouse helped police uncover a “chop shop” containing several stolen vehicles.

Police received a call on Thursday, September 7 from the owner of a Mercedes Sprinter van, which has been stolen in Walthamstow on August 23.

The van owner had been able to find his vehicle at an industrial estate in Sturmer Road, Halstead, in rural north Essex.

Police executed a warrant at the address and discovered a chop shop, with car parts from 10 stolen vehicles in the process of being stripped down.

The motors, stolen from London, Kent and the West Midlands, included Toyota Landcruisers and Mercedes GLCs.

DC Jamie Stirland, of Essex Police, said: “The victim contacted police after he managed to locate his stolen vehicle to a remote location.

“Officers were able to execute a warrant where a further nine vehicles were found, in the process of being stripped for parts.

“The vehicles were high value and relatively new.”

Police say they are now working with other forces across the country and carrying out further enquiries to locate the suspects involved.

  • Anyone who has information about suspicious activity in industrial units or barns is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.