Police appeal after live shotgun cartridges picked up by children

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Police are appealing for information from parents of children in Copthorne after the discovery of 973 live shotgun cartridges at a derelict site.

Last night (May 1) police were called to the derelict site, at Holly Farm just off the A264 Copthorne Way, after a member of the public found the large quantity of cartridges, said police.

Officers believe the ammunition was dumped following a burglary in Charlwood the previous day.

Whilst carrying out enquiries at the site police were informed that a number of children had picked up some of the cartridges and had left the area with them, added police.

PC Dave Harwood said: “I am urging parents in the area to speak to their children to find out whether they are, or have been in possession of any of the missing cartridges.

“Whilst shotgun cartridges are generally safe to handle they do have the potential to cause serious injury if they are tampered or played with.

“If any cartridges are found they should be placed somewhere safe and the police contacted on 101 or 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, or they can be handed in at a police station, quoting serial 1171 of 01/05.

“Any youngsters who have any of the ammunition can be assured that they are not in any trouble, and that they could be of a great help in our efforts to investigate what happened.”

The 973 cartridges were found mainly in two boxes in a shed, said police.

They are thought to be part of the proceeds of a burglary at a farm site used for clay pigeon shooting in Horley Road, Charlwood, on Sunday afternoon (April 30).

Thieves broke into several storage units and stole several tools and other items, details of which are still be obtained, as well as the shotgun cartridges.

They drove off in a minibus they stole from the site, which was later found abandoned and burnt out at Crawley Down.

Several shotgun cartridges were found by the vehicle.

No firearms were stolen in the burglary.

Anyone who was in the Charlwood area and saw anything suspicious on Sunday is asked to contact the police via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 1171 of 01/05.

They can also report online here or call 101.

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