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Luxury cars worth at least £3million stolen from Havering and Barking and Dagenham recovered in early morning police raids

Essex Police, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency joined forces on a major operation involving 400 officers across Havering and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Adriana Elgueta

Essex Police, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency joined forces on a major operation involving 400 officers across Havering and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Adriana Elgueta

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Police hunting a gang of car thieves have recovered stolen luxury vehicles worth at least £3million and at least £100,000 in cash in a series of early morning raids on locations across east London and Essex this morning.

Essex Police, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency joined forces on a major operation involving 400 officers across Havering and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Adriana ElguetaEssex Police, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency joined forces on a major operation involving 400 officers across Havering and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Adriana Elgueta

At around 5am on Thursday, February 27, the Post joined the police on a major raid with 400 officers on a farm in Stapleford Abbotts where 16 stolen cars including Mercedes, BMWs and Jaguars were discovered alongisde £50,000 in cash.

It is believed the cars were stolen from addresses across Havering and Barking and Dagenham, as well as in Brentwood and Loughton.

As a result of police inquiries and simultaneous raids in 22 locations, 12 people have been arrested and 22 further arrest warrants are out for wanted men across east London and Essex.

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Essex Police have confirmed that warrants were executed at locations in Dagenham, Rainham, Romford and West Ham.

From initial investigations, it appears evidence has been discovered linking those arrested to at least 90 offences.

The joint operation by the Metropolitan Police, Essex Police and the British Transport Police led to the discovery of a cannabis factory in Walthamstow, which has now also been raided. Officers there this morning recovered more than 200 cannabis plants.

An Essex Police spokesman added: "We believe the group of people stealing the vehicles found here are the same group involved in the Walthamstow cannabis factory."

Essex Police, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency joined forces on a major operation involving 400 officers across Havering and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Adriana ElguetaEssex Police, the British Transport Police and the National Crime Agency joined forces on a major operation involving 400 officers across Havering and Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Adriana Elgueta

Post reporter Adriana Elgueta joined police officers on one of this morning's raids in which an armoured vehicle was used to gain entry.

Her exclusive report will be published tomorrow on this website.