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Operation Benelli make 10 arrests and secure a hoard of stolen bikes

The specialist motorcycle crime taskforce called Operation Benelli has made 10 arrests in Northumbria and unearthed a hoard of stolen motorcycle and parts

OPERATION BENELLI has arrested ten people in a series of dawn raids across the Newcastle and Gateshead areas this week.

The team also managed to seize a haul of stolen property in what they called the ‘Day of Action’, that saw units combine to swoop in on addresses in the North East of England. The team built up a detailed picture of the criminals by gathering intelligence and carrying out covert surveillance, before executing the raids early on Tuesday 1st October.

The 10 arrests included eight men and two women and included in the haul of stolen goods were a number of stolen motorcycles and quad bikes, plus a mountain of stolen parts.

The police hope that the raid will send a clear message that those who get involved in motorcycle crime should expect to feel the full force of the law moving forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Knox, who oversees the work of the Operation Benelli team, said:

“These arrests are the product of a lot of hard work by a team of detectives dedicated to tackling this type of criminality.

“They need to know that if they get involved in motorcycle crime then they should expect a rude awakening – a team of police officers coming through their door.

“Ten people are now in custody and a haul of suspected stolen goods have been seized that will prove to be vital evidence in our investigation.

“Many of those who have been involved in motorcycle crime are just teenagers but some of them are committing violent robberies.

“This disruption activity should send a strong message to those individuals – we won’t hesitate to bring you into custody and put you before the courts.

“We know who you are, and this type of action will continue as long as you continue to commit offences in our region.”

Most of the thefts were opportunistic, with motorcycles being stolen from car parks but there have been some reports of thieves committing violent robberies. If anything it goes to prove that a steering lock on a motorcycle in a car park is never enough security.

DCI Knox added: "There are a number of different tactics we have been using to identify who they are and a number of people have already been put before the courts.

 “We would ask bike owners to ensure their vehicle is secure. These thieves have snapped steering locks so even a simple disc lock can deter them.

"If you know anyone who has stolen a motorcycle or is riding in an anti-social manner then we need you to do the right thing and inform the police.

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