Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Police dog helps arrest A1 fuel theft suspects

Work by a Nottinghamshire Police dog and handler led to an evasive fuel theft suspect being sniffed out and arrested.

A farmer called police after spotting a 4×4, parked alongside the A1 southbound near Cromwell, suspected as being involved in the theft of diesel from lorries.

It then went into a nearby field where it was found abandoned. The empty vehicle contained barrels of diesel in the back, tools, and registration plates.

Neighbourhood officers attended along with dog handlers and police dogs as checks were carried out and a search of the area commenced.

PC Chris Duffy and Police Dog Reno started to track from the empty vehicle and PD Reno quickly picked up a scent which took the pair along the edge of the field and then up steep banking leading onto the road before heading towards the entrance to Cromwell Quarry.

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The specially trained four-year-old German Shepherd then made his way into the thick hedgerow on the slip road at which point a man shouted he was coming out.

The man, who smelt heavily of diesel, was duly arrested by PC Duffy, around 11pm on Monday (26 February 2024), on suspicion of theft from a motor vehicle.

After officers carried out inquiries with lorry drivers, it was found that around 300 litres of diesel had been siphoned from a lorry parked in a layby off the A1 at Cromwell.

The latest arrest coincided with another successful night of activity carried out through an ongoing operation covering the neighbouring Bassetlaw district and targeting criminals committing cross-border and rural crime.

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It involved Bassetlaw neighbourhood and Operation Reacher officers joining forces with Nottinghamshire Police’s road crime team, dog handlers, and police dogs to patrol roads around Worksop, Carlton-in-Lindrick, Langold, Retford, and Harworth. The operation resulted in vehicles being stopped and checked.

Inspector Gina Boothby, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Our expert teams of police dogs and their handlers are an invaluable resource for the force, and this was another good example of a police dog showing his skills and quickly tracking down a suspect.

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“Reno is specially trained to track human scent on all different kinds of surfaces, to identify property holding human scent, and to detain people. The excellent work in this case shows just how effective our canine team members can be when paired with such capable officers. Together they really do make a great team.”

Inspector Hayley Crawford, District Commander for Bassetlaw, added: “We know fuel theft impacts businesses not just in Bassetlaw but also other rural communities throughout Nottinghamshire.

“Offenders are not only using the roads but also crossing farmland and damaging crops to carry out their offending.

“We are continuing to use all available resources to tackle this issue and locally based teams are continuing to carry out proactive operations to target offenders and put the brakes on fuel thieves and criminals crossing our borders to commit crime within our rural communities.

“We’re regularly out on operations to crack down on criminals causing havoc to our rural communities and we continue to work closely with farmers and businesses to protect our rural areas and tackle diesel theft head-on.”

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