GMP have arrested thirteen suspected members of a notorious organised crime group in South Manchester who are believed to have stolen over £400,000 worth of goods.
Following a four-month investigation, police today executed a series of warrants across Manchester and brought 12 men and one woman into custody linked to a string of offences including ram raids, burglaries and vehicle crime.
The thirteen people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to handle stolen property and are due to be questioned.
To date, officers believe the OCG may be responsible for up to 50 crimes between July and December of last year, during which more than £400,000 worth of goods have been stolen from innocent members of numerous communities.
Detective Sergeant Alan Hamlin said: “I hope today’s action shows those who have been victims of this gang that we will use every available weapon we and other agencies have to disrupt and dismantle these organised criminal networks.
“This operation has been four months in the making and is a result of a lengthy investigation into the activities of a suspected organised criminal network – based in south Manchester – that has been causing real heartache and misery in Greater Manchester and beyond its borders.
“Clearly I cannot go into too much detail at this stage given we have made so many arrests, but we believe members of the gang may be responsible for up to 50 crimes including burglaries, ram raids and the supply of drugs.
“As a result, many innocent and law-abiding people have fallen victim to this gang, losing not only money and goods worth up to £400,000 but also being put through huge emotional strain.
The raids were executed under the banner of Operation Ingot which was set up to tackle the activities of the suspected OCG.
Some of the victims of those crimes accompanied officers on the raids so they could see the suspected offenders being arrested and put into the back of police vans.
Cash, mobile phones and stolen property have been seized after the raids.
As part of the operation, but not directly connected to the overall investigation, a further three arrests were also made today – a man for possession of a stun gun, another man for possession of drugs and a woman for assisting an offender. They also remain in custody for questioning.
“We know all too well from speaking to residents how destructive and pernicious these gangs can be, and the corrosive effect they can have in our communities,” said Detective Sergeant Hamlin.
“We also know that the answers to tackling organised crime lie in the communities where these people operate, so I would continue to ask residents to take a stand with us and together we can bring about real change.
“These are your communities. They belong to you, not the criminal gangs who try and rule with an iron fist.
“I want today’s action to give residents the confidence that things are different and you can come forward. If you tell us what action needs taking, then through your local police officers and the local authority, we will take it and together we will dismantle these criminal networks.”
Image courtesy of GMP, with thanks.