Ipswich: Two bailed in crime gang probe

IPSWICH: Two men are on bail today after being arrested in a cross-border police operation targeting an a suspected gang of thieves preying on rural areas.

The suspects, who are from Ipswich, were taken into custody in Lincolnshire following a tip-off from Norfolk police after a bogus telecoms van was seen in suspicious circumstances.

The 22-year-old and 36-year-old were stopped in a vehicle on the A17,

Police went on to recover a stolen �30,000 winch used for extracting copper cable from the ground, along with a large quantity of suspected stolen cable.

They were arrested on suspicion of theft, before being taken to Spalding police station where they were questioned and released on bail pending further inquiries.

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A spokeswoman for Lincolnshire Constabulary confirmed the arrests and that the men were from Suffolk.

The arrests followed Norfolk Constabulary launching a new initiative to tackle crime affecting rural and farming communities.

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Detective Superintendent Nick Dean said: “Following the public launch of our rural crime campaign last week, we have seen a number of significant results.

“The two arrests in Lincolnshire, we believe, represent a well organised and professional team operating across at least three counties.

“Following information received by Norfolk police, we also worked with colleagues in Suffolk to recover a valuable trailer which had been stolen during a burglary in Downham Market.

“Close working between forces is vital as is instilling confidence in people to report incidents to us – without which we would not be able to receive results such as this.”

High profile roadside checks targeting vehicles associated with rural crime were carried out by a multi-agency team over two days in West Norfolk last week.

A total of 46 vehicles were pulled over, 15 defective vehicles taken off the road and 28 tanks dipped for evidence of red diesel. One fine was issued for an offence of no insurance.

Further checks to disrupt travelling criminals working across county borders are planned by officers.

n Have you been a victim of theft? Write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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