Op. TARTAR was a reactive investigation into the theft of high value plant machinery in and around Cleveland and Durham.
On 20th March 2014, the suspects, Charles John Tyers, Lee Harris, Robert Mason and Lewis Clarke Hammond were arrested in the act of stealing a 360 Hiab Grab from a construction site in Middlesbrough.
Subsequent enquiries identified a further suspect in Tony Hilton and a further 20 offences with a total value of £470,419.00
On Tuesday 31st March 2015, Lee Harris, Tony Hilton and Lewis Clarke Hammond were charged with conspiracy to steal plant machinery. Hammond was also charged with dangerous driving relating to the evening of 20th March 2014.
On Wednesday 1st April 2015, Charles John Tyers and Robert Mason were charged with conspiracy to steal.
The five defendants have been charged and bailed to appear at Teesside Magistrates Court on 15th April 2015.
On Wednesday 9th September 2015, Charles Tyers, Robert Mason, Lee Harris and Tony Hilton, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal. They conspired to steal property, plant equipment and machinery between 17th November 2013 and 21st March 2014. Lee Harris alone admitted a second charge of attempting to steal a Bobcat loader on 18th June 2015.