Oct 31 2012 by Eleanor Barlow, Heswall News
A MAN was charged with theft after stolen anti-tank mines were found in a Wirral garage.
Phillip Yates, 29, from Church Road, Birkenhead, appeared at Birkenehad Magistrates Court yesterday.
He was remanded in custody until a Liverpool Crown Court hearing on November 12.
Two other men were arrested after three of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) owned mines were found in Birkenhead.
They were released on bail.
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.
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.
A third man was arrested in Quarry Bank Street on Monday on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
Alan Balsiger, who owns Salon Supplies in Quarry Bank Workshops said he arrived on Monday 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.”
Police and officers from the Royal Logistics Corps were outside the property.
Call police on 0161 856 1027 or 0800 555 111.