DOZENS of police officers executed warrants at two premises this morning as part of a wider investigation into the alleged sales of stolen cars and car parts.

Officers entered scrap yard grounds of Crash Converters on Pocket Nook Street and Jackson Street Salvage on Jackson Street at 11am this morning.

It was a joint operation involving the British Transport Police, Trading Standards the council and immigration officers.

Both premises were locked down while police carried out searches.

At a location on Pocket Nook Street, officers have recovered a large quantity of car parts which, at this time, are suspected to have been stolen.  A quantity of cash has also been seized.

Two men have been arrested at the location, one for an unrelated matter and one on suspicion of theft.  Three further men at the premises believed to be working in the country illegally are being spoken to by the UK Border Agency.

St Helens town centre Inspector Dave Brennan said: "We received information from the public and from partner agencies that led to today’s executing of two warrants as part of one operation.”

“The overall investigation has been going on for some time. We always act on any information the public give us around possible criminal behaviour.

“It sends out the message that this is what we are here to do and we wouldn’t achieve it without the help of the public.

"Anyone who's had their vehicle stolen will know how upsetting and inconvenient it can be and people who have bought a previously stolen car often end up losing their money or driving round in vehicles which can be death traps.

"As well as profiting from other people's misfortune, people who sell on stolen cars or break them up to sell spares often have links to serious and organised crime and are making lives easier for people to commit offences across Merseyside.”

People can call officers via the 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.