POLICE chiefs say a new crackdown on metal thefts in Bolton is paying dividends, after an alleged thief was caught red-handed. Police launched Operation Alloy to combat the growing problem of metal thefts and stop thieves from lining their pockets by selling on stolen metal.
The team was called to Nandywell, Little Lever, shortly before 1am on Wednesday when a neighbour saw a disturbance in the garden of a nearby property.
Police were quickly at the scene and a 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft, with officers also recovering metal that was suspected stolen.
He has been bailed until December 14.
Sgt Graeme Murrie, from the Operation Alloy team, said: “With Christmas coming up, and the nights drawing in much earlier, unfortunately there are thieves about who have no qualms about ripping the lead off roofs or raiding sheds just to get their hands on a bit of metal they can cash in.
“Anyone who has been a victim of this sort of Crime will understand just how frustrating it is. Stealing the lead from a roof leaves the home vulnerable to the weather, insecure and the homeowners are left with a feeling their home and their privacy has been invaded.
“This arrest shows just how much of a priority Greater Manchester Police takes metal theft and the quick response of the division meant not only were we able to catch this thief red- handed, but we also stopped them from making off with the metal and profiting from their cowardly and opportunistic actions.
“Thanks to Operation Alloy, we are continuing to make arrests, reducing the amount of metal stolen and bringing offenders to justice. Gradually the message needs to sink in to these criminals: if you want to steal metal, be prepared for the metal of police handcuffs.”
Operation Alloy involves specialist operations and neighbourhood policing officers being supported by engineers from telecoms, electricity, water and transport networks to recover metals thought to have been stolen from their networks and arrest anyone suspected of being involved.
Anyone targeted by metal thieves should call 101 or 999 in an emergency, or the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
(Reproduced from Bolton News 11th December)
Gardien Comment: Don't attract trouble - hide away outdoor metal items wherever possible but property mark them if they are too big or awkward to be stored in a shed or garage. See http://www.garden-security.co.uk/outdoor-items-security.aspx and http://www.garden-security.co.uk/SelectaMark-Property-Marking.aspx