Cars worth more than £100,000 have been recovered after raids were carried out across south Essex.

Officers from Essex Police’s serious vehicle crime investigation unit conducted two raids in a bid to recover stolen cars from the region.

The raids saw a total of nine cars recovered worth more than £100,000 which have now been seized and will be returned to their owners once the investigations have concluded.

One raid took place at a yard near Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford, last week after three men were arrested on suspicion of vehicle thefts.

Officers from the specialist team were assisted by the force’s dog unit and Basildon’s local policing team.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We arrested three men on suspicion of vehicle thefts after stopping a van in Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford, on Sunday, January 6.

“We then searched a yard nearby and found seven vehicles that we believe to be stolen. They have all been seized.

“A 51-year-old man from Basildon, a 25-year-old man from Langdon Hills and a 25-year-old man from Tilbury have been released under investigation.”

The cars that were recovered included transit vans, a Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golfs.

This followed the recovery of two additional vehicles - both Range Rovers - from a site in Chadwell St Mary, Thurrock, the previous day with assistance from the Roads Policing Unit and the local policing team from Grays.

It is not known at this stage whether anyone has been arrested in connection to this incident.

A spokesman for the serious vehicle crime investigation unit said: “This was an absolutely cracking effort from all teams involved.

“It was a long night but several vehicles were recovered and now fully identified.

“Evidence has been secured and investigations continue with CID.”

Anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 101 or independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.