TEN ARRESTS ACROSS COUNTY AS POLICE STEP UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST METAL THIEVES

PUBLISHED: 15:26 08 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:32 02 June 2010

TEN people were arrested and five vehicles and three skips seized by police during a two-day operation targeting suspected metal thieves.

About 45 Cambridgeshire police officers were involved in the crackdown on Monday and Tuesday as part of Operation Sar

TEN people were arrested and five vehicles and three skips seized by police during a two-day operation targeting suspected metal thieves.

About 45 Cambridgeshire police officers were involved in the crackdown on Monday and Tuesday as part of Operation Saruman.

Officers carried out checks at 12 scrap metal dealerships in the county and used automatic number plate recognition technology to check for stolen property.

On Monday , 10 people were arrested, five vehicles were impounded and three skips containing suspected stolen metal were seized.

Seven of the arrests were on suspicion of theft, two were people wanted on warrants and the other was for driving while disqualified.

Detective Inspector Andy Gipp, who leads Saruman, said: "The activity shows that the fight against metal thieves continues apace.

"We are determined to arrest those responsible as well as disrupt thieves as they go about their daily work. In order to do this we also need the public's help. Residents should remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour, giving any important information they have, such as descriptions or vehicle registration numbers.

"People should be particularly suspicious of unusual activity around vulnerable buildings, such as churches, schools, homes under construction or community centres, and also around manhole covers, which thieves will often remove to access underground cable."

Operation Saruman was launched in September last year in response to a dramatic increase in thefts of metal, particularly lead and copper.

There are currently just over 100 offences every month in Cambridgeshire and so far this year police have made more than 70 arrests.

Cambridgeshire police is working alongside officers and staff from local authorities, the Environment Agency, HM Revenue and Customs and EDF Energy.

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