A pair of racing karts modified specially for use by war heroes, have been returned to their delighted owners after they were stolen in Foots Cray.

The £4,000 twin-engined racers owned by the charity Kart Force have hand controls so they can be operated by amputee veterans.

They were stolen from a garage in Palm Avenue between Monday and Tuesday but were tracked down to an address in Cray Meadows within two days.

Charity founder Dave Player has been overwhelmed by the police response and the outpouring of public support following the burglary.

The wheelchair-bound former Army Royal Engineer told News Shopper: "It’s been a roller coaster week.

"We didn’t know whether we would be able to race in the Inter-Service Kart Championship against our fellow servicemen but all the worry has now lifted and the lads are just buzzing."

Kart Force’s 25 disabled former soldiers have had their season rescued and will be able to race in Middlesborough on Sunday.

Mr Player, 46, added: "I can’t praise the police enough, they went hell for leather on this.

"Eighty thousand people read the messages we put on Facebook about it.

"It’s fantastic how so many people have got behind us."

After the burglary a Safer Neighbourhoods Team street briefing led to information about an address in Cray Meadows where the stolen karts were found yesterday afternoon.

They were returned intact to Kart Force this morning exactly as they were when they were taken, apart from a bit of dust left over from forensic investigations.

Bexley Police Inspector Abbie Cranage said: "This is a great example of the community and police working together to tackle crime in the local area and ensure the safe return of these stolen items to their rightful owners."

The investigation to trace the burglars continues with forensics and other leads.

Visit justgiving.com/kartforce

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