North West Regional Organised Crime Unit

Operation Sheldon

Operation Sheldon was a proactive inquiry between November 24, 2008 and May 19, 2009. It centred on an organised crime group mainly from the Kirkby area of Merseyside who were targeting HGVs across the UK.

This was an investigation into a group of offenders who would steal a vehicle, mainly cars and vans, and travel across the motorway network looking for HGVs to target.

The gang would mainly attack HGV in motorway service areas or lay-bys while the driver was asleep in their cabs. They would either slash the curtain sides of the lorries or threaten the driver to steal the contents of the trailer before returning to Merseyside to dispose of the stolen goods. On occasions they would steal the whole HGV and trailer.

In total 40 offences were detected across nine different police forces. The operation resulted in the conviction of 12 people for conspiracy to steal and one man for burglary. They were jailed for a total of 63 years and nine months at Liverpool Crown Court. 

A quantity of stolen goods were recovered during the operation. This included four HGV tractor units, one trailer, six cars, four vans, and one motorcycle worth a total of £300,000. Other stolen goods valued at £135,000 and £20,000 were also recovered.