North East Regional Special Operations Unit

Five people have been sentenced for more than 13 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal.

News / September 28

5 men were sentenced as part of Operation Scorpion, which was an investigation into a large series of thefts from vehicles across the north of England during 2013 and 2014.

These men specifically targeted the car parks of cash and carry stores and would target the vehicles owned by shop keepers who had purchased stock.

The team at North East Regional Serious Operations Unit (NERSOU), which incorporates teams from Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland, has  been working with forces across the country to help trace these offenders across the county.

Although offences were committed in Durham, Cleveland, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire, the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead was hit particularly hard by the gang between November 2013 and February 2014.

Detective Sergeant Alan Turner from the NERSOU warns other criminals that they will take action.

DS Turner said: "We are really pleased with the result and I am proud of the team for getting these offenders to court. This is an excellent example of all our partners and police family working together.

"These people have been stealing cases of cigarettes however the group also stole cash and other valuable items such as computers and photographic equipment.

"The group used a number of vehicles to travel from their base in Blackburn to other parts of the north of England. In order to attempt to deter police investigations and avoid detection they would display false number plates on vehicles and would often change them two or three times a day.

"This has been a through and complex investigation by the team and I am proud of the work that has been done to secure this conviction."

© NERSOU 2018