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Nottinghamshire Police operation target thieves causing crop damage and stealing from lorries on A1 near Newark

A major police operation has taken place over the last two nights to combat damage to farm land and thefts from lorries on the A1 between Newark and Harworth.

A large team of officers were deployed to the area and used a variety of methods including: a 4X4 vehicle, capture lorry, undercover HGV drivers and the forces drone team.

Police operation (43129128)
Police operation (43129128)

They also used other covert evidence gathering tactics such as thermal imagery, covert CCTV and smart water DNA systems.

On Wednesday (November 11) at about 7.30pm, officers observed two men believed to be preparing to steal diesel from the capture lorry in the Ranby area of the A1.

They made off from police and failed to stop in their 4x4 vehicle leaving it abandoned nearby. It has now recovered and enquiries are underway to identify those responsible.

Neighbourhood Inspector Heather Sutton said: "The theft from lorries parked on the A1 has been one of our priorities for around a year now.

"Not only do offenders steal diesel and goods from vehicles while the drivers sleep inside, they also cause extensive crop damage by driving over farmland in 4x4s and quad bikes and intimidate land owners."

"As a result of our proactive activity we have seen a decline in offences but theft of diesel on the A1 remains at the top of our agenda and our work with the Highway Agency and other partners will continue with further operations planned."

The activity was part of Operation Magna which was set up in November 2019 and following its success is now incorporated into the Neighbourhood Team's daily business where they regularly conduct activity to combat the issue.

Previously under the operation two men were convicted of theft from a motor vehicle and going equipped for theft. One of them was also convicted of possession of a bladed article and driving without insurance and the other was additionally convicted of possession of an offensive weapon. As well as this, a man was charged with theft and is due to appear at court later this year. Another man was given a caution for handling stolen goods.

Inspector Sutton said: "The operations take a lot of planning and I'm pleased with the outcome of the two night event. My team have once again shown criminals that they are ahead of the game and that we have a number of tactics in place to catch them out. Hopefully, offenders will be deterred from trying again, and if they do, no doubt we will be ready for them.

"We are dedicated to combatting this issue and we will not get complacent. It's important that trading takes place and that lorry drivers feel safe enough to do their jobs."

If you have any information that can help the Neighbourhood team with their enquiries into this issue, call Nottinghamshire Police on 101.

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