A day’s racing at a legendary circuit was thrown into chaos when specialist police’s dawn raid seized sixteen stolen high performance motorbikes.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Stolen Vehicle Unit targeted the organised event at Brands Hatch, Kent on March 5, suspecting stolen bikes would be competing.
They swooped on the circuit at 7:00am, confident some of the many superbikes stolen in the London area over the previous three years would be found.
The Sunday race meeting ground to a halt as officers examined 144 high performance motorbikes, which had engines above 599cc.
Sixteen of them were identified as either stolen or 'rung' (pictured) with a false identity and some were made up of stolen parts.
Officers did not make any arrests, but seized the 16 bikes, one of which was a sidecar.
The operation aimed to ensure unsafe and stolen bikes were not being used on the racetrack.
Police accept some of the bikes seized may well belong to completely innocent victims who were unlucky enough to have been duped into buying stolen vehicles.
Detective Chief Inspector Will Young, who heads the Stolen Vehicle Unit, said: “The purpose of the operation was to recover as many stolen motorcycle engines and frames as possible and restore them to their rightful owners.
“However, we also want to use the successful results over the weekend to send a clear message to anyone who thinks that they can use stolen machinery to enter race events - this is illegal and any stolen vehicles or parts will be seized by police.
“This is the start of a continued piece of work the Stolen Vehicle Unit is leading on in order to remove stolen bikes from racing circuits.
“We will continue to work closely with the sports governing bodies to try and introduce processes whereby the industry can effectively prevent stolen bikes being used on their race tracks.”