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Kent Police return WW1 U-boat propellor to German Navy

14:07 18 June 2015

Archant

They have been thanked.

Officers from Kent Police have been thanked for their role in ensuring the safe return of an artefact from the First World War.

PC Preston Frost and PC Darren Reed, from the rural task force, attended a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on Monday.

During the ceremony a propeller, which is from the first German U-boat to be sunk in the conflict, was handed back to the German Navy.

The propeller was seized from a property in June 2014 as part of a joint investigation with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency into the theft of high-value items from shipwrecks in the Channel.

Officers carried out a warrant at a residential address in Sandgate and located the artefact, which had been fashioned into a coffee table.

A 75-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and was later issued with a caution.

The handover ceremony was held on board the German Naval vessel Karlsruhe, which is currently docked at Portsmouth Naval Base.

PC Frost said: “We are proud of our close working relationship with the Maritime Coastguard Agency and are pleased to have played our part in ensuring the return of an important historical artefact.

“We will continue to investigate anyone suspected of stealing items from sunken wrecks and bring prosecutions against them when appropriate.”

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