Whole family among arrests in police crackdown

A van is searched during the police operation
A van is searched during the police operation
Have your say

A city-wide police crackdown targeted “audacious” car and home thieves after the number of incidents doubled in the first three months of the year.

Officers believe a core group of around 30 people – many in their early teens – are at the heart of the epidemic, which is particularly rife in the north and west areas of the city.

Plain clothes officers launched the raid this morning. Picture: Lesley Martin

Plain clothes officers launched the raid this morning. Picture: Lesley Martin

Police have made 106 arrests since mid-March – 62 for domestic break-ins and a further 44 for car thefts – under the dedicated Operation RAC crackdown.

And they revealed that there had been 245 charges for housebreaking and 59 for vehicle theft.

An entire family – said to be operating like a “mini crime group” – was among those held when they were caught with stolen property and Class A drugs in their home.

Around 40 plain clothes officers launched dawn raids in the north of the city early yesterday morning.

Search warrants in connection with a break-in at Dreghorn were executed at properties in Wester Drylaw Drive shortly before 7am.

The wanted suspects were not there – but one man handed himself in after officers “put pressure on his associates”.

A 17-year-old man was later arrested for two car thefts, while a 15-year-old boy was detained for stealing a car, other thefts and driving offences.

Officers searched a white van on Wester Drylaw Drive after noticing a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle.

Inside they found several golf clubs, which were suspected of being stolen.

Four people were arrested on Wednesday night after being caught “red-handed” stealing property or driving stolen cars in the west and east of the city.

Ten arrests were made the previous night, with around half suspected of being part of the core group of thieves and the majority being under 16.

But Superintendent Matt Richards insisted proactive action was getting offenders off the streets.

“These people are audacious – they don’t care about the individual whose house they are breaking into,” he said.

“We think they co-ordinate on social media. There is a co-operation that we haven’t seen previously, plus there is a huge amount online about how to steal cars.

“There are inter-generational challenges where stealing is potentially seen as a rite of passage.”