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Police smash stolen car rackets across Kirklees and the north

Many arrests after major operations by police forces

Police photos from raids on car theft racket

Police in Kirklees have smashed a major stolen car racket.

They have charged seven people after what was described as a major “chop shop” ring was uncovered in Dewsbury.

It was said to involve stolen vehicles and crashed cars worth tens of thousands of pounds. Many are rebuilt and put back on the road.

This was the moment after stolen car burst into flames against vehicle with pregnant woman inside

And in another move, police have today released details of a major investigation into a stolen car racket spanning West Yorkshire and Lancashire.

West Yorkshire Police and Lancashire Constabulary have made a number of arrests and seized a vast amount of vehicle components following a joint proactive policing operation. Tape and transit components

Officers from both forces executed warrants at two premises in Lancashire on Wednesday suspected of being involved in the theft of motor vehicles from across the North of England. They were used for stolen vehicles to be brought to, where they are alleged to have been broken up in to component parts and sold on.

Car parts seized in major police operation

West Yorkshire Police traced vehicles stolen from Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield to Lancashire.

READ MORE: Man arrested in Mirfield after driver of suspected stolen car led police on high speed chase

In Kirklees, the “chop shop” operation centred on industrial premises in Dewsbury.

Det Insp George Bardell, of Huddersfield CID, said: “We have been carrying out extensive inquiries into tis operation for some time.

“It was clear from very early in the inquiry it was a large operation.

Det Inspector George Bardell

“Seven people have now been charged with various offences and are due to appear in court on February 11”.

The cross-border inquiry saw police seize a huge number of nearly new vehicle engines, doors, vehicle panels and other constituent parts, suspected of being from stolen vehicles, chiefly from the Yorkshire.

Alongside the vehicle components seized, a large number of horses were also found at the location, including three horses that had died. Officers are continuing to liaise with the RSPCA.

READ MORE: Three men arrested as police raid suspected 'stolen car factory'

Keyless vehicle thefts have been a big problem across West Yorkshire since 2010, with 478 Ford Transit vans being reported stolen between January 1 2015 and December 11 2015 alone, with an estimated value in excess of £7.5m.

The theft of Ford Transit Vans across the Yorkshire region accounts for 40% of all vehicles stolen, with the make and model being the most stolen vehicle across the UK.

Spares and car parts seized in police raids

Chief Supt Pat Casserly of West Yorkshire Police Protective Services Operations said; “This planned proactive policing operation has been as a direct result of extensive dedicated work of West Yorkshire Officers across the border with colleagues in Lancashire.

“The scale and organisation of the sites have been quite remarkable as this appears to be a well organised, systematic and efficient process to deconstruct vehicles, categorise them and move them on for sale”.

READ MORE: Police urge Kirklees householders to be extra vigilant following a spate of Hanoi-style burglaries in Cleckheaton

A 53-year-old man, 38-year-old man, 32-year-old woman, 30-year-old man, and 29-year-old woman all from Blackburn and a 50-year-old man and 45-year-old man from Bacup, have all been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft, handling stolen goods and money laundering.

A 38-year-old man from Bradford has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles.

In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.



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