1/23/2008 11:45:00 AM
Operation Tomahawk to thwart phone thieves in Manchester
Detectives from the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU) joined Manchester police last week to tackle an annual spike in robberies in the city.
Operation Tomahawk was planned in a bid to thwart the 30% rise in robberies that normally happens in Greater Manchester this time of year. It involved raids on shops and vehicle checks, and targeted known offenders who commit robbery or sell stolen goods.
Detective Inspector Dave Murtagh from Greater Manchester Police said: ‘If there was no second-hand market for stolen phones people wouldn’t steal them, so we’re hoping to cut down on the number of victims with this operation. People don’t seem to understand that buying a stolen phone creates more potential victims.’
Hundreds of mobile phones were seized during the operation, 12 of which have been confirmed as stolen. Officers are examining the remainder of phones.
A 39 year-old man from Stockport, a 34 year-old man from Burnage, a 29 year-old man from Longsight and a 19 year-old man from Moss Side were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. They have now been released on bail pending further enquiries until 17 April.
Murtagh said that without the assistance of the NMPCU, making checks on mobile phones was a time-consuming process. He said: ‘We have been talking to the NMPCU to see if they will let us have it on trial for three months or so, so other shops in the area should be aware that they could be next on the list to be visited.’