Oct 30 2012 By Eleanor Barlow
A man from Birkenhead has been charged with theft after anti-tank mines were stolen from a freight train.
Phillip Yates, 29, of Church Street, is due to appear at Birkenhead Magistrates’ Court.
Two other men, who were arrested in connection with the incident, have been bailed pending further police inquiries.
STOLEN anti-tank mines were found in a Birkenhead garage.
Three men were being held for questioning after three of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) owned mines – which were stolen from a train last week – were found in Birkenhead.
One of the devices was recovered by specially trained officers at the Specialist Motors workshop in Quarry Bank Street. Police said two others were discovered at another address in the town.
Yesterday the North West Terrorism Unit was searching three addresses in Birkenhead as part of the investigation.
Seven of the devices were found near a railway line in Folley Lane, Warrington last Thursday after 10 packages were reported stolen from a freight train travelling from Longtown in Cumbria to Oxfordshire last Wednesday.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police, who are leading the probe, said: "The three outstanding packages, which are made up of a total of 12 plastic cases, were safely recovered by specially trained Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers from an address in Birkenhead.
"As part of ongoing enquiries led by the North-West Counter Terrorism Unit a number of addresses in Birkenhead and Sheffield are being searched.
"This coordinated investigation, which remains ongoing, also includes the Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police and MoD."
A 29-year-old man in Birkenhead and a 31-year-old man in Sheffield were arrested on suspicion of theft on Sunday night.
A third man was arrested in Quarry Bank Street yesterday on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
Alan Balsiger, who owns Salon Supplies in Quarry Bank Workshops said he arrived at yesterday to find the road cordoned off.
He said: "I got here at about 8.30am and the road had been closed by police.
"I saw them take a man out of the workshop and it looked like they had cut through the shutters outside to get in. There were two police cars and two police vans here this morning and then a bomb disposal van came.
"I couldn’t see any activity outside so I assume they must have been searching inside."
Police and officers from the Royal Logistics Corps were outside the property yesterday.
Alan added: "It is a one-way street so no one was able to get down here. I had to go through the back of a greengrocers and round the back of my shop to get in but no customers have been able to get here."
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 1027 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.