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UPDATED: Three men charged following dawn raids in Halton today
THREE men have been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary following dawn raids in Halton today.
The trio, two aged 18 and one aged 24, have been remanded in custody and are due to appear before Halton magistrates tomorrow.
The men, two from Runcorn and one from Widnes, were arrested as part of Operation Attar, an ongoing investigation into a spate of burglaries in homes across Runcorn and Widnes throughout this year.
Two other men remain in custody at this time.
The operation was led by officers from the Halton Proactive Policing Team.
Following the execution of the warrants, local neighbourhood officers have been carrying out high-visibility patrols to offer reassurance to local residents.
FIVE suspected burglars have been arrested following dawn raids across Halton today.
Police officers executed warrants following a spate of 30 burglaries at homes in Widnes and Runcorn over the past eight months.
Items worth an estimated £130,000 ranging from jewellery, digital cameras and laptops to a Jaguar and Mercedes cars have been stolen.
Det Insp Gareth Lee, who led Operation Attar, said: "The final strike phase this morning is the result of months of hard work by a dedicated team of officers focusing on a number of individuals suspected of being involved in this type of crime.
“Over that period, intelligence and evidence has been gathered enabling detectives to link more than 30 offences of household burglary.
“Items stolen have ranged from mobile phones, digital cameras and laptops to Jaguar and Mercedes cars − totalling approximately £130,000.
"We hope that the strike phase today sends out a strong message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in Halton. We also hope that it helps to reassure the local community that we are doing everything we can to put a stop to this sort of activity."
All five men, aged in their late teens to early 20s, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle and are now in custody. Two of the men were produced from prison.
Specialist officers were used to gain entry to the properties whilst detectives and search trained officers carried out detailed inspections of all the addresses. They are ongoing at this time.
During the 8 month investigation property from six homes was recovered and returned to their rightful owners.
DI Lee added: "One of the burglary victims was brought to tears when she discovered all of her family photographs had been stolen on a memory card inside her digital camera. This same victim was brought to tears again when detectives returned the camera and memory card to her after they recovered it as part of this investigation.
“Burglary can have a major impact on a local community as it strikes at the heart of that community. Burglary is a serious offence and an unpleasant crime as it affects people in the one place where they should feel safest, their own homes.
"We see first-hand the impact this type of crime can have on the victim − to have your personal space invaded in this way is extremely upsetting.
"Cheshire Police is committed to tackling this type of crime. It is an issue we take extremely seriously and we devote all the resources we can to tracing those responsible and bringing them to justice.
"We need the continued support of local people and would urge anyone who may have information in relation to burglary in Runcorn and Widnes to contact us.”
Anyone with information about burglary can call Cheshire Police on 101 or anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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