Police step up bid to catch metal thieves

PUBLISHED: 10:47 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 11 May 2010

CAMBRIDGESHIRE Police s crackdown on scrap metal theft led to the arrest of 11 people this week, as part of Operation Saruman. About 45 officers checked for stolen metal at 12 scrap merchants across the county. Det Insp Andy Gipp said: We are determined

CAMBRIDGESHIRE Police's crackdown on scrap metal theft led to the arrest of 11 people this week, as part of Operation Saruman.

About 45 officers checked for stolen metal at 12 scrap merchants across the county.

Det Insp Andy Gipp said: "We are determined to arrest those responsible.

"In order to do this we need the public's help."

Operation Saruman was launched in September 2007 to combat a dramatic increase in theft of metal, particularly lead and copper.

In Cambridgeshire alone, there are more than 100 thefts each month, and so far, more than 80 people have been arrested this year.

Det Insp Gipp said: "Residents should report any suspicious behaviour, giving any information they have, such as descriptions, or vehicle registration numbers.

"People should be particularly suspicious of unusual activity around vulnerable buildings, such as churches, schools, homes under construction, or community centres, and also around manhole covers, which thieves will often remove to access underground cable."

Anyone with information should call the police on 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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