Stolen Vehicles Recovered

  • Thefts in Arthur’s Hill and Wingrove.
  • Foot patrols find vehicles ‘in hours’.
  • Offenders still at large.

A specialist police task force set up ‘to crackdown on violent thieves’ has recovered a people carrier, motorcycle and child’s bike stolen from homes in Arthur’s Hill and Wingrove.

On Tuesday morning police received a report that a VW Sharan Carat people carrier had been stolen from outside a property on Gainsborough Grove overnight. On Wednesday morning they received a report of a burglary from a Wingrove Avenue resident where a motorcycle and child’s bike were taken from a back garden.

The Operation Benelli team took on the enquiry and were soon led to believe that the stolen people carrier had been used to steal the bikes, said Northumbria Police.

A plain-clothed operation was launched and by Wednesday evening specialist officers had tracked the stolen motorcycle and bicycle to an abandoned property on Philip Place in Arthur’s Hill. The people carrier was also located nearby and all property has now been returned to the owners.

The seizures were the result of proactive patrols conducted as part of Operation Benelli said the officer in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Fran Joyce.

Operation Benelli ‘set up to crackdown on violent thieves’, is made up of a number of experienced and specialist officers who review every incident where a motorcycle has been used in the commission of a crime and try to establish any patterns of behaviour. Victims are also spoken to in a bid to build up an intelligence picture of those involved in the disorder.

The team, based at Etal Lane police station, has been in place for over a year, said DS Joyce and has developed “huge knowledge of who the main offenders are and where they operate.

“We have officers in place who have the freedom to carry out patrols and plain clothes deployments so when offences like this do take place, our officers know where to go.

“We have recovered these vehicles within a matter of hours and that should be a huge reassurance to both the motorcycle community and the wider public.”

The offenders however are still at large and police are asking the public to get in touch if they have any information about those responsible.

Police have advised that there are different ways information can be reported. Email operationbenelli@northumbria.pnn.police.uk to send pictures, video or information. Phone 101 and ask to speak to the Operation Benelli team, or report information online at the Northumbria Police website. Quote case number 253 08/01/20.