In the past two months there have been 85 aggravated car thefts across Manchester and 555 vehicles stolen through burglaries.

Last week, a dedicated operation known as Operation Dynamo was carried out to target and disrupt this type of crime. The weeklong operation used a mix of tactics to target those not only committing the robberies, but also to deter, disrupt and ultimately dismantle organised criminality.

The week focused on Trafford and Stockport, and led to 6 arrests for various offences linked to vehicle crime, including crimes for violent robberies during which offenders assaulted victims in order to steal their high powered vehicles in the Trafford area, and a series of moped robberies in Stockport.

A boy aged 15 and a man aged 18 were arrested for conspiracy to commit robbery.  This followed reports of a string of violent robberies where people were assaulted or threatened with weapons during vehicle robberies in the Urmston and Chorlton areas of Manchester.

A 19 year old man and a boy aged 17 were arrested on suspicion of robbery. This followed a number of robberies conducted by offenders on mopeds in Cheadle and other areas of Stockport.

Two men, both aged 31 were arrested on suspicion of driving offences by Cheshire Police, with assistance from GMP’s Dog Unit.

The week also saw officers execute warrants on Scargill Close, Fallowfield and Jeston Street, Openshaw.

Two vehicles believed to have been stolen during burglaries in Eccles and Stockport were recovered as well as intelligence likely to aid further positive action which has been submitted to forensics.

Operation Dynamo was established in 2018 to tackle car theft and associated criminal activity as part of GMP’s commitment to target organised crime across Greater Manchester – known as Programme Challenger.

Vehicle theft can prove a lucrative business, with many of the profits being reinvested into criminality.

One common trend sees gangs buy written-off high-powered cars for minimal costs, which are then reconditioned using parts stolen from other vehicles – hence thieves tending to target specific makes and models.

Several cars are taken and parts used to rebuild the written-off vehicles, which are then sold on at premium value, while other spare parts are sold on through various outlets to unsuspecting members of the public.

Profits are then reinvested into criminal organisations, and the cycle continues.

Detective Constable Hankinson of GMP’s Serious Crime Division said: “Most of us know someone who has been a victim of vehicle theft, and we understand how disruptive and distressing this type of crime can be.

“Tackling car theft remains a priority for GMP, and weeklong operations such as this highlight our commitment to address this, not only in Stockport and Trafford but across Greater Manchester and beyond.

“Last week provided us with dedicated resources and joint partnership working opportunities to add to our ability to target those behind this type of crime, further highlighted by these arrests and disruptions”  

“I would like to remind the public to remain vigilant; these criminals often use violence as a means of intimidation and sadly, sometimes more to take a vehicle.

“We rely on intelligence to actively target those responsible, so I would like to encourage anyone with concerns to please come forward and make a report, whether this is through ourselves, or anonymously through Crimestoppers.”