A 45-year-old Brentford man has been arrested after a police raid on his houseboat uncovered £5,000 worth of stolen solar panels.
The Marine Policing Unit (MPU) led the operation to recover the five panels, after the Environment agency reported them stolen from a barge in February and March of this year.
Officers from the MPU, supported by police from Brentford Safer Neighbourhoods Team and the Environment Agency, stormed the houseboat moored on the River Thames in Brentford, at 9am Wednesday morning.
They also recovered a unique waterproof generator box, which is specially designed to allow the panels to be used within the marine environment.
Matt Loewenthal (OK), senior environment monitoring officer for the Environment Agency said: "The solar panels that were stolen are absolutely vital to our work as they are our only source of power out on the River Thames.
" We lost thousands of pounds of equipment, but even more important than the financial loss is the data that was lost and we can't get back. The equipment that was stolen power our water quality monitoring equipment which provide us with crucial information about the health of the river.
"These systems are our eyes and ears, without them we cannot manage and protect one of the countries most iconic rivers."
Inspector Chris Connelly from the Marine Policing Unit said: "Officers within the Marine Policing Unit are specially trained to carry out entries and searches of houseboats of this kind.
"We will continue to work with all our partners to tackle crime on the Thames. Criminals are very mistaken if they believe they can use the cover of London's waterways to commit offences."