Man wanted by Lancashire Police as three arrested after ‘£40k worth’ of plant machinery stolen from Rossendale business

A man is being sought by police after three people were arrested following the theft of plant machinery “worth £40k” in Rossendale.

A customer account was opened with a business in Rossendale on March 17, but the details were later found to be fraudulent.

Plant machinery worth “£40k worth” was then stolen from the work site later the same day before being sold to unsuspecting buyers who travelled South.

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The stolen excavator and dumper truck were later located by police in Bedfordshire and subsequently returned to their rightful owner.

Have you seen William Cross? He is wanted after "£40k worth" of plant machinery was stolen from a business in Rossendale (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Officers on Tuesday (August 9) executed three warrants in the Burnley area.

Two 40-year-old men and a 34-year old woman were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft.

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Police said the woman was later de-arrested but would be voluntarily interviewed under caution later in the week.

Following the arrests, detectives launched an appeal to find a third man – 39-year-old William Cross – who is also wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft.

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PC Dan Haworth, of the Rossendale and Burnley Rural Task Force said: “This type of crime comes at a high cost to local business and creates a hindrance on local communities and workers who go about their daily work.”

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“Today, we have taken positive action to close in on this type of illegal activity.

“Should you have information which you believe could help us with the whereabouts of William Cross, we ask that you report it to us quoting log 715 August 8.”

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Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said cracking down on burglary and robbery were “both priorities in [his] Police and Crime Plan.”

“Burglary ruins livelihoods and can make life a misery for victims across Lancashire, in our biggest towns and cities as well as our most rural areas,” he added.

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“In order to combat these crimes, proactive operations such as this one today are integral and I always welcome the opportunity to join officers on the front-line in raids which act on intelligence from the public.

“By seeing first-hand the work that goes into this type of operation I can continue to support the force, working closely with the Chief Constable to ensure they have the resources and backing to take the fight to criminals across the county.”