Seven people have been arrested, and a transit van full of shoes which are thought to be stolen, have been seized by police during an operation to tackle theft from curtain sided lorries in Lincolnshire.
Officers from the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOPSS), which is a collaboration of officers from Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, have been working all week (Mon 23 to Friday 27 May) patrolling the M1 and the main roads through the East Midlands, stretching as far as South Yorkshire and Bedfordshire, targeting lorry thieves. They also worked with officers from Derbyshire’s Road Crime Team.
‘Operation Barric’ was set up in response to an increase in lorries with canvas sides being attack at lorry parks and laybys across the East Midlands. Between January 1 and 21 April 2016 there were 98 offences in Northamptonshire, 49 offences in Leicestershire, 27 in Nottinghamshire and 18 in Lincolnshire.
EMOpSS Officers from Road Crime Teams, Automatic Number Plate Recognition experts, Tactical Armed Policing Teams and force control rooms worked together overnight to share information and intelligence, link crimes to vehicles and track suspect vehicles throughout the roads of the East Midlands.
As a result, four men were arrested on Wednesday 25 May on the M1 in Leicestershire. A van, which was believed to be stolen from Leeds, was stopped and found to contain hundreds of boxes of shoes believed to be stolen from a lorry in the Milton Keynes area. A 23 year old man from Leeds was arrested on suspicion of theft and theft of a motor vehicle.
Officers then stopped a second vehicle at the services at Leicester Forest East and arrested a further three men all from Leeds aged 38,23 and 29. They were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal. All four men are still in police custody.
The night before (Tuesday 24 May) another car was stopped northbound in the M1 in Leicestershire and was full of power tools which are believed to be stolen. Three men from Derbyshire, aged 22, 28 and 32, were all arrested for theft offences and have been released on police bail.
Sergeant Garry Johnson, who’s been instrumental in organising Operation Barric, said; “These arrests show just how far people will travel to commit crime and reflect how important it is that forces work together. Criminals do not commit crime within county boundaries, they use our road networks to travel around committing crimes in different areas then moving on and that can make it more difficult for us to track and arrest them. However, by sharing information; making the best use of automatic number plate recognition technology and having officers from different forces patrolling the road network together we can, and will, catch criminals who travel in and out of our counties to commit crime.”