FOUR Hartlepool men have been arrested as part of a police crackdown on travelling criminals.
The men were spotted driving on the A1(M) in the early hours of Thursday, March 13, in possession of a stolen trailer.
The gang, aged 34, 28, 19, and 29, were stopped near Junction 50 at around 5.15am after being seen with the trailer on the B6265 between Ripon and Pateley Bridge around an hour earlier.
They were arrested and remain in police custody for questioning.
The arrests were made as part of North Yorkshire Police’s Operation Hawk during which five other men were also arrested in another two separate swoops by the force.
Patrols stopped a Ford Transit van travelling southbound on the A1(M) near Boroughbridge at around 5.30pm on Wednesday, March 12, and found a large container containing what is believed to be stolen diesel and a quantity of cash.
The vehicle was seized and the occupants, three men, were arrested on suspicion of theft.
Officers made two other arrests in connection with a theft from a car in Burton-in-Lonsdale on Wednesday, March 12.
The men, one aged 29 and from Blackpool, and the other aged 36 and of no fixed address.
Operation Hawk was established at the end of July last year to protect North Yorkshire’s rural communities from the threat of travelling criminals.
Officers are using a number of resources to secure the county’s borders and ensure that criminals find it very difficult to get into North Yorkshire and out again undetected.
Anyone with any information about travelling criminals should call North Yorkshire Police on 101 - select option 1 - and speak to the Force Control Room, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For more information about Operation Hawk visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/hawk