A HAUL of cars stolen from all over Bolton has been found in a raid at a former mill.

Police found evidence of nine stolen vehicles when they swooped on the unit in Hartford House, off Weston Street, Great Lever, at 6.30am yesterday.

They said the raid followed an "extensive" investigation into car theft in Bolton.

A motorbike stolen only three days earlier was found, as well as three cars and five engines.

All the vehicles and parts had been stolen in Bolton, something police described as “unusual”, as goods are normally taken further afield.

Graeme Sharp, an intelligence officer with Bolton’s vehicle crime team, said police believed the raid had “closed off” a way for car thieves to sell their stolen goods.

No one has been arrested in relation to the raid, but police said enquiries are ongoing and officers are hopeful that breakthroughs are close.

Police said the owner of the Hartford House unit was “gobsmacked” by the hoard inside his property and had provided “invaluable assistance” to officers investigating the scene.

Mr Sharp said: “These cars were taken from the Bolton area and some really recently such as the motorbike, which we are really pleased about.


“Usually stolen cars are out of town within hours, to Wigan, Manchester or even further afield, so to crack this operation in Bolton is brilliant.

“This will hopefully have a knock-on effect for members of the public in Bolton.

“We are trying our best to get people’s cars back for them and put an end to criminal groups like this one.”

A grey motorbike recovered was one of three police believe to have been taken from Smethurst Lane in Morris Green on March 2.

According to Mr Sharp, the bikes disappeared overnight and are believed to have been towed away as the property they belonged to was not burgled.

Officers also found a blue Fiat Punto car, which they think was taken in November from an address in Melbourne Road, Deane.

They also found a stolen Vauxhall Corsa and a stolen black Renault Clio Sport with false plates.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Mr Sharp or PC Carl Boydell on 0161 8565507.