A number of sailing masts have been found wrapped in plastic sheeting in Westfield Common, Hamble.
A nearby resident heard noises between 3.30 and 4am on Wednesday, May 11. They turned on some lights to look outside, it is believed this may have disturbed whoever was outside as no further noise was heard. The resident went to investigate the next morning and a quantity of metal sailing masts were found.
Police attended the scene a short time later but the masts had already moved and a flattened area of foliage was left. As a result of an area search a further 20 to 30 metal masts were found, again wrapped in plastic sheeting. There were also pieces of rigging and rope scattered on the woodland floor.
It is estimated that the masts are worth several thousand pounds.
Police are keen to speak to anyone who keeps a vessel in the Hamble area and may have had a mast or other equipment stolen to contact them. Officers are also keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed what happened.
Anyone with information should contact PC Alex Hennessey at Hedge End police station on 101, or call Crimestoppers, the charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.