Leeds: Stolen lion duo seized in police operation

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Decorative golden lions, a snowboard and a mobility scooter were among the eclectic range of suspected stolen goods seized in a police burglary crackdown in Leeds.

Officers carried out a series of planned raids on homes across the south of the city targeting suspected burglars and alleged crooks thought to be handling stolen goods.

More than £10,000 worth of items were recovered during the three-day Operation Diamond.

Supt Pat Twiggs, of City and Holbeck division, said the operation had been a big success.

“It was a fantastic effort,” he said. “It sends a strong message to the burglars and handlers of south Leeds that we aren’t going to take our foot off the gas and will continue to target them and make their lives difficult.”

The operation, involving 25 officers a day, came after many weeks of investigation and intelligence gathering into the trade in stolen goods in south Leeds.

Twenty-one properties across the City and Holbeck division – which covers the area from the city centre to Holbeck, Beeston, Hunslet, Belle Isle, Middleton and Morley – were searched.

Two golden lion statues, thought to have been taken from a garden in Oulton, were seized at one house.

Power tools, mobile phones, laptops, floor tiles and electrical goods, including flat screen televisions and DVR recorders, were also recovered. A number of the televisions were thought to have been stolen in a burglary in Blackpool.

Police are now in the process of returning the goods to their rightful owners.

Supt Twiggs said five vehicles, including two cars, a van, a quad bike and a mobility scooter, were seized because they were thought to have been stolen or used in the commission of crime.

Seven men, aged 16 to 55, were arrested.

Four of those have been charged with offences including burglary and handling stolen goods.

The operation also led to the seizure of drugs and offensive weapons.

Supt Twiggs said: “It’s all part of a continued effort to disrupt burglars, handlers and those involved in vehicle crime.

“Our work is ongoing, but this operation has reinvigorated what we were already doing and has already had a clear impact.”

Mark Cashin

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