Police have been using an undercover HGV to catch lorry thieves in the act.
Officers from Wakefield District CID used the capture HGV to track down criminals trying to commit ‘curtain sider’ thefts.
The truck, which is fitted with CCTV cameras that capture footage of the suspects, was used at lorry theft hotspots throughout the district. Police worked with hauliers and also mounted extra patrols.
Detective Inspector Steve Greenbank said: “We had been seeing an increase in thefts from lorries in the run up to Christmas, and as a result, mounted this operation to try and bring levels of these offences down. We noted a near 70 per cent fall in theft from lorries during the course of the operation and this reduction has continued into this year so far.”
Nine men were arrested as part of the operation, including a 27-year-old Leeds man who was handed an 18 week suspended prison sentence with 200 hours community service and a 30-year-old Knottingley man and his associates.
A number of men remain on bail as investigations continue. The operation ran between November and January and officers have said they will be back on the streets again in the near future.
DI Greenbank added: “We will be looking to repeat this tactic in the near future with another lorry in a different livery so my message to thieves looking to target lorries is simple.
“If you try and steal from lorries parked up in Wakefield there is a chance we will either be watching or you will be breaking into a wagon loaded with cameras and surveillance equipment.
“Theft from lorries is something we will not tolerate in Wakefield District.”
Anyone with any information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.