Arrests after raid at Billingshurst business park

FIVE men were arrested following a raid at a fishing tackle shop in Billingshurst, say police.

A man working late at one of the units at Rosier Business Park in Coneyhurst Road saw three people about 10.50pm on Sunday walking away from another unit he knew should have been locked up.

One of the people was carrying a torch so he became suspicious and called police on 999, a spokesman for the force told the County Times.

“While he was talking to the police he saw them start to run across the fields towards Billingshurst railway station so he went to where the men had come from which was a fishing tackle shop, The Cabin Tackle Store.”

The police controller called a number of ground units, including a police dog and tried to scramble a police helicopter but neither the Surrey nor Sussex Police helicopter was able to fly because of the fog, the spokesman added.

“At 11.05pm a police officer and PCSO who were on foot patrol near Billingshurst railway station saw a Vauxhall car speed off and got the registration number and radioed it in.”

Officers attended the scene of the burglary while others started to walk the route where the men were seen running away.

At around 11.15pm a traffic patrol officer radioed that he had sight of the suspicious vehicle near Ockley.

More police vehicles were called and a controlled stop of the vehicle was carried out in Cathill Lane, Ockley. Five people were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

The car was seized and taken away for forensic examination, the spokesman said.

The officers who had been following the the route where the men were seen running away found VW van bogged down in a field nearby and the number plates had been removed. This van was found to be stolen from Fetcham in Surrey on March 4. It was also recovered for forensic examination.

A further search the next day in daylight recovered all the stolen property from a nearby field.

Five men from Surrey have been interviewed and released on bail pending further inquiries and forensic results, police said.