Men in court following North Herts raids

PUBLISHED: 15:35 21 September 2012 | UPDATED: 16:16 21 September 2012

Police lead away a suspect

Police lead away a suspect

Archant

SIX men who were arrested in simulataneous early morning raids across North Herts this week have been charged with offences relating to metal theft.

Police swooped seven different addresses on Wednesday – including one in Royston – and arrested the six men, after going undercover to buy scrap metal as part of Operation Precipitate.

One man – Kieran Reid, 32, of Ditchmore Lane, Stevenage – pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods. He was handed a 12 month jail sentence, suspended for a year.

All men appeared at Stevenage Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday). Apart from Reid, they did not enter pleas and will appear at Cambridge Crown Court next Thursday.

The other men who were charged are:

• Brian Graham, 47, of Victoria Crescent, Royston was charged with conspiracy to steal scrap metal and cable. He was remanded.

• Stephen Cox, 44, of Wilshere Crescent, Letchworth GC, was charged with conspiracy to steal scrap metal and cable. He was given bail by magistrates, but was remanded in custody awaiting appeal.

• Clive Ingram-Clarke, 30, of Grove Road, Hitchin was charged with conspiracy to steal scrap metal and cable. He was remanded.

• Craig Batten, 37, of Willow Tree Way, Hitchin was charged with conspiracy to steal scrap metal and cable. He was remanded.

• Darren Bain, 35, of no-fixed-abode, was arrested in Letchworth GC. He was charged with conspiracy to steal scrap metal and cable, and handling stolen goods. He was remanded.

Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hanlon, who led the operation, said: “This has been a carefully planned covert operation and these arrests are the result of several months’ work. We have been gathering evidence and working with local scrap dealers to identify stolen metal and those selling it.

“There has been a marked decline in large scale metal thefts over the last six months, which has been partly down to the work carried out as part of Operation Devon which is Hertfordshire’s planned response to the theft of metal. Hertfordshire Constabulary has also been working closely with the scrap dealers throughout the county, building up good relationships which help to target those stealing metal.”

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