Five arrested after officers raided four homes as part of operation to tackle organised crime groups
Three of the five men arrested have now been charged with the theft of a hydraulic breaker and the raids also led to a number of suspected stolen items being discovered.
Northumbria Police raided a series of properties across the Force as part of Operation Branta on Wednesday, January 10.
Officers teamed up with Durham Constabulary and executed four warrants at addresses in Northumberland’s Hedley-on-the-Hill, Stockfield and at an address in South Tyneside.
Alongside the five arrests, a host of suspected stolen items including a Takeuchi excavator were also seized, along with two Land Rovers suspected to have been used during the commission of the offences.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Ian Pattison, of Northumbria Police, who co-ordinated the raids, said: “This planned operation was a result of months of intelligence gathering as we work to build a clearer picture into organised criminality across Northumberland and further afield.
“Yesterday’s activity shows how police forces across the country are working together to dismantle criminal networks and protect communities – whatever the weather.
“I hope yesterday’s raids send a clear message to those who seek to take what is not there’s to take and cause misery – we will not tolerate it.
“The investigation will continue to identify and target anyone involved and we will seek to re-unite property with the rightful owners.”
Sgt Pattison added: “Community intelligence is vital to our policing approach and we urge anyone with any information that could help us disrupt and dismantle this type of criminality to get in touch with us.”
Operation Branta was created to tackle serious and organised crime groups who target rural areas.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “There has clearly been a lot of hard work that’s gone into this operation and it’s paid off.
“Criminals targeting our rural communities need to think again. Officers are taking a really robust approach to fighting crime in our more remote neighbourhoods and will continue to do so.”
Anyone with information about organised criminality can contact police on 101 or via the force’s website.