THREE men were arrested and police seized axes, hammers and a knife from a car in north Dorset.

Officers from the Dorset Police Rural crime team stopped a van travelling from the area of north Dorset into Somerset yesterday evening following a report of suspicious circumstances in Gillingham.

From searching the vehicle officers located and seized cloned number plates, 18 tools suspected to be used for thefts, and 5 weapons consisting of axes, hammers, and a knife.

Three men were arrested on suspicion of going equipped for theft, and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

One vehicle was seized for being used in criminal activities.

The suspected stolen items were then recovered by police.

A spokesperson for the Dorset Police Rural Crime Team said: "With assistance from Avon and Somerset, and Wiltshire Police, further searches conducted at addresses linked to the detainees led to the recovery of suspected stolen items from industrial sites."