Scrap dealers arrested in stolen metal operation

Arrests have been made at two scrap yards after police targeted dealers buying stolen metal.

Two men, a 57-year-old from Hitchin and a 47-year-old from Harlow were arrested at Metal and Waste Recycling in Hitchin, and a further two men, a 52-year-old from Hitchin and a 46-year-old from Stevenage were arrested at Colin Hemmings in Stevenage. They were all arrested on suspicion of conspiring to handle stolen goods.

The men were detained last week as Hertfordshire officers targeted dealers profiting from thefts including electricity cabling, street signs and manhole covers at seven scrap metal dealers across the county.

In all 23 people were arrested on suspicion of offences including handling stolen goods, money laundering and immigration. Officers also impounded seven vehicles, recovered a large quantity of suspected stolen signage and seized �50,000 in cash.

Detective Inspector David Wheatley said: “Not only can this type of crime cause widespread disruption to our communities in Hertfordshire, but with the theft of cabling often leaving live wires exposed, it poses a very real risk to safety.

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“We have good working relationships with many legitimate scrap metal dealers across the county, who work closely with their local safer neighbourhood teams. However those that aren’t running legally will be found out and action will be taken against them.”

Those arrested have been bailed until August 18.

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