Stolen mower recover - four years later, Axminster area

POLICE have recovered a ride on lawn mower stolen from the Chardstock area – over four years ago.

William Sweetnam, 55, had the �1,600 piece of equipment taken from his father’s property shortly after he had died in April 2006.

But thanks to the property having a serial number, the mower was discovered by Dorset police following the arrest of people suspected of theft in the area.

Mr Sweetnam said: “I’m fairly astonished by the discovery. It goes to prove that by keeping a record of the serial number, there’s always a chance these things will happen.”

He will not be reunited with the mower as the insurance company paid out at the time of the theft.

He believes the house was targeted after his father’s death and he said it caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the property.

He said: “It’s utterly disgusting. I felt as if he [my father] had been defiled by them going out there, savaging the property to get the mower out. I would like to know that the person who stole it will be behind bars.”

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But the pilot, who is often abroad for his work, thanked the police for their help.

“They have followed it up and kept me informed,” he said.

Pc Kevin Bennett has called for people to take the time to record serial numbers. He said manufacturers rarely include them in accompanying documents, so cannot be relied should the property be stolen.

He said: “This highlights the value of recording serial numbers from any items of value that you have. In this case, there were no other viable enquiries and it was only due to the owner having recorded the serial number that we have been able to link it to a crime.”