Police say they raided five properties in Leicester yesterday (Sept 4th) as part of an investigation into armed robbery and money laundering.
Officers from Northamptonshire and Warwickshire joined Leicestershire Police for the operation.
Men aged 23 and 26 were arrested at two properties in nearby Braunstone.
Two other men, aged 31 and 35, were arrested when three properties in Beaumont Leys were searched.
The 35-year-old was charged with attempting to rob a cash-in-transit van at Bedworth, Warwickshire, on May 30 this year, and robbery of a cash-in-transit van at Rothwell, Northamptonshire, on June 3 this year.
He was due to appear at Northampton Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday 5th Sept).
All the others were released on police bail while further enquiries are carried out.
For the second year running, Beaumont Leys police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have opened a safety shop for shoppers in the run up to Christmas.
The safety shop which is situated within the Beaumont Shopping Centre complex opened its doors to shoppers on December 7th.
Christmas shoppers will be able to pop in to the safety shop to pick up crime prevention and fire safety advice throughout December.
Beaumont Leys neighbourhood sergeant, Rich Jackson, set up the shop again this year due to last years impressive results. He said: “Last year we ran the same initiative in the run up to Christmas and managed to cut the number of shop thefts by half. This year I wanted to make the initiative bigger and better and hope that we see similar results to last year.
“The Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be joining us and we will be running a free fire safety and crime prevention competition. Entrants will be put into a draw to win a selection of prizes including bikes complete with safety gear and locks, vouchers and much more.”
The safety shop will be run by officers from the Special Constabulary and police volunteers. Officers will be conducting plain clothes and high visibility patrols of the shopping centre complex to deter any shop thefts.
Sergeant Jackson added: “I would like to thank Beaumont Shopping Centre, Tesco and Leicester City Council for being supportive in making this initiative possible.”
Residents of the Beaumont Leys and Abbey Wards can receive free crime prevention products including window shock alarms and personal attack alarms, by visiting the shop and providing proof of residency. The crime prevention products have been funded by Leicester City Council, Beaumont Leys and Abbey ward community funds.
Andrew Quine, from the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: “This years Christmas safety shop is a great opportunity for the public to drop in and meet their local Fire & Rescue Service and Police. Visitors to the shop can get advice about fire safety in the home and enter our fantastic competition.
“During this time of year it is important to check you have a working smoke alarm and ensure you have a safe and happy Christmas.”
Sarah Duffin, centre manager at Beaumont Shopping Centre, said: “We are pleased to be able to host the emergency services’ one-stop-shop again in the centre during this busy Christmas period.
“Thanks go to our landlord for donating the use of the shop space. The one-stop-shop offers shoppers excellent practical advice from both the police and the fire service on crime prevention and fire safety.”
Officers will be encouraging shoppers to sign up to Neighbourhood Link, the new police community messaging system. To get updates from Leicestershire Constabulary on policing issues that affects you and your area, sign up to Neighbourhood Link on www.neighbourhoodlink.co.uk.
Shoppers that buy items such as mobiles phones and games stations can visit the safety shop, so that officers can register these items for free on the UK national property register www.immobilise.com.
The safety shop, located opposite the O2 shop, is open to Christmas shoppers from Monday to Saturday from 11am to 3pm, throughout December.