A POLICE swoop has led to a number of arrests in connection with a string of burglaries in and around Chester.
Officers believe the same gang could be responsible for 100 burglaries across Cheshire in the last three months, just under a quarter of which were carried out in Chester and surrounding areas between October and December.
Following a spike in burglaries across the Cheshire area including in Tarvin, Guilden Sutton, Mickle Trafford, Kelsall, Cuddington, Winsford, Northwich, Wilmslow and Lymm, detectives linked the crimes and launched Operation Edendale which has led to four arrests.
In the majority of the burglaries, thieves made off with jewellery and cash, say police.
A 57-year-old woman was arrested at an address in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, a 31-year-old man was arrested at an address in Salford and a 56-year-old man from Failsworth was arrested in Manchester city centre.
A 50-year-old man was also being questioned.
All four were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary and were taken into custody suites in Cheshire in relation to the burglaries between October and December, although detectives say there could be more.
Det Chief Insp Paul Williams, who led the undercover investigation, hopes the zero tolerance approach to such crimes will assure members of the public that officers are doing all they can to stamp out the crimes and catch culprits who have spread “misery” across Cheshire.
"The public should feel reassured by these arrests today and I hope it reinforces to them the work we have been doing to catch the people responsible for spreading such misery across Cheshire,” he said. “For such a high number of burglaries to happen in such a short space of time is very unusual and to me shows the arrogance of the criminals responsible, thinking that they would not be caught.
“Detectives across the constabulary have been working tirelessly over the last few months to gather the intelligence and evidence we needed to strike today.
“It was without doubt a number one priority for the constabulary to stop these burglaries and we used a number of tactics and resources as part of our investigation.
“Burglary has such a devastating impact on people’s lives and I hope these arrests send out a strong message that Cheshire Police takes crimes such as this very seriously. We will put all our resources into catching the people responsible.
“Cheshire Police is urging the general public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
“This particular spate of burglaries appears to have ended on New Year's Eve.
However, there will always be opportunistic thieves who will take a chance if they see an open window or door.”
See full story in the Chester Leader