A SPECIALIST police team set up to crackdown on violent thieves recovered a car and motorcycle hours after they were reported stolen.

Northumbria Police's Operation Benelli task force seized the vehicles yesterday morning just hours after they had been reported stolen from addresses in the west end of Newcastle.

At about 9.25am on Tuesday police received a report that a VW Carat had been stolen from Gainsborough Grove overnight. At 9.45am yesterday, residents of a property on Wingrove Avenue reported that a Yamaha motorcycle and a child’s bicycle had been stolen from a back garden.

The Operation Benelli team took on the enquiry and were soon led to believe that the VW Carat stolen on Tuesday evening had been used to steal the bikes.

A plain-clothed operation was launched and within three hours the specialist officers had tracked the stolen motorcycle and bicycle to an abandoned property on Philip Place.

The VW Carat was also located nearby and now all three vehicles have been returned to their owners.

Detective Sergeant Fran Joyce led the operation and has said the seizures are the result of proactive patrols conducted as part of Operation Benelli.

He said: “The Operation Benelli team has been in place over a year now and we have developed huge knowledge of who the main offenders are and where they operate.

“We have a team of officers in place who have the freedom to carry out patrols and plain clothes deployments so when offences like this do take place, our officers know where to go.

“The recoveries yesterday are just another example of how that rich knowledge base is helping us to locate stolen property and disrupt criminal activity.

“We have recovered these vehicles within a matter of hours and that should be a huge reassurance to both the motorcycle community and the wider public.

“An investigation to trace those responsible for both offences is ongoing and if you are involved them do yourself a favour and hand yourself in.”

Operation Benelli is made up of a number of experienced and specialist officers based at Etal Lane Police Station.

They review every incident where a motorcycle has been used in the commission of a crime and try to establish any patterns of behaviour.

Victims are also spoken to in a bid to build up an intelligence picture of those involved in the disorder.

If you want to send pictures, video or intelligence to the task-force then you can do so by emailing operationbenelli@northumbria.pnn.police.uk.

You can also call 101 and asking to speak to the Operation Benelli team or report information online at the Northumbria Police website.

If you have information about this particular incident then contact Northumbria Poilice using the information above and quote log 253 08/01/20.