The net has closed in on a gang suspected of attacking a series of cash machines in Willaston and across the country after detectives carried out dawn raids in Merseyside this morning (Wednesday 3 October).
The strike – known as Operation Arrows – saw more than 80 officers from Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales execute warrants at seven homes and a storage compound, arresting five men, all aged between 21 and 36, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary. They are currently in custody helping police with their enquiries.
It follows an investigation by Ellesmere Port CID, with support from Cheshire’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, into a series of attacks on ATMs in Willaston, Arrowe Park in Wirral, Queensferry in North Wales, Oldbury and Small Heath in the West Midlands, Darwin in Lancashire and Ackworth in West Yorkshire where overall £150,000 was stolen.
As part of today's operation officers seized two cars in Wirral.
Detective Sergeant Graeme Carvell, leading the investigation, said: “Today’s arrests follow a lengthy investigation into a group we believe could be involved in up to 14 offences, 10 of which are attacks on cash machines over a two month period.
“Our investigation has shown us that these attacks have been carefully planned and coordinated, and they’ve gone to great lengths to continue their crime spree across the country.”
Specialist officers were used to gain entry to the properties and officers are now carrying out detailed searches of all the addresses.
DS Carvell added: “The work leading up to and including today’s operation is testament to the dedication and commitment by officers and staff to disrupt this criminal activity and keep communities safe.”