A 48-year-old man from St. Albans was arrested over a large WWI and WWII haul, comprised of vintage ammo and artifacts, believed to be stolen from protected sites. The arrest was made morning of September 17, Wednesday.
The search and arrest was made immediately after a search warrant was issued. Authorities found the large WWI and WWII haul stashed in the garage of the suspect’s home. They are said to have been obtained through the use of illegal metal detecting.
The large WWI and WWII haul of ammunition and artifacts found by the police included vintage hand grenades, mortar shells, flare and handguns, rifles, various ammo and a wide range of memorabilia dating to the two world wars. The latter appeared to have been excavated.
Accordingly, illegal metal detecting can be a heritage crime, a criminal offense, if the retrieved artifacts were taken from heritage-protected sites or the deed is done without the consent of the landowner. Reports state that the suspect got his stash of WWI and WWII ammunition and artifacts from these sites like one heritage landmark in Batford, Harpenden.
The suspect was taken into police custody for questioning after his arrest.
Meanwhile, authorities were organized and thorough in their search of the suspect’s home. Windmill Avenue, where the home address is located, had been closed down and residents of the four homes located on either side of the road where the suspect’s home is located were moved to a safer location.
According to Chief Inspector Ken Townsend of the Hertfordshire Police, the WWI and WWII ammunition and artifacts haul they discovered is a large one so the process of seizing and sorting everything out will really take time. He assuredly added that though some of the items within the WWI and WWII haul are potential dangers, they do not pose as threats to the public.
Chief Townsend stated that experts have been called on to deal with the WWI and WWII haul items. Moreover, the bomb disposal team is doing controlled detonations for the live vintage ammo in the WWI and WWII haul.