Suspected stolen vans recovered during police raids

Suspected stolen vehicles seized by police.

Suspected stolen vehicles seized by police.

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Three people have been arrested in a series of police raids into the investigation of the theft of transit vans.

Officers are carrying out an operation into the theft of more than 75 transit vans stolen across the force area since July 2015, with a total value of more than £500,000.

On Thursday, officers made three arrests and recovered nine vehicles, which police suspect may be stolen, during the raids in Blyth, North Shields, Heaton and Ryton.

Two men, both aged 25, and a 17-year-old male youth were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles and have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Earlier this year in January two men were arrested, one aged 24 on suspicion of handling stolen goods and a 34-year-old on suspicion of TWOC (taking vehicles without consent), both have since been bailed.

During Thursday’s police activity officers recovered four transit vans, two motorbikes and two cars which are still being examined by officers.

As part of the ongoing activity officers have seized suspected stolen vehicle parts, stolen property and other items believed to have been used to steal vehicles.

Northern Area Command Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt said: “This is a good example of how Northumbria police can proactively target organised criminal gangs committing multiple offences across the forcearea.

“It is a key part of our preventing crime strategy and we will continue to prevent, disrupt and deter organised criminality.”

To report suspicious activity contact police on 101 ext 69191.