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Police have arrested 18 people after a burglary crackdown in Brentwood.

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Essex Police deployed a team of local officers, specialist officers and detectives on the operation which started last Monday.

They focused on the transport routes that may be used to get in and out of the Brentwood area.

Police have since arrested 18 people; 300 were stopped and searched and a further 513 were stopped and asked to account for being in the area.

Officers seized 17 vehicles because they were un-roadworthy or did not have insurance or MOT, and 53 people received fixed-penalty notices.

The arrests included a man, 34 from Ingatestone on suspicion of driving offences. He has been bailed pending further enquiries to April 15.

A man, 23, from Brentwood was arrested on possession of a controlled drug and has been bailed to April 29.

Det Chief Inspector Stuart Hooper said: “By tackling those travelling into the district we can identify criminals or target those intent of committing crime.

“We are denying criminals use of the roads and the road networks and removing their tools of trade.”

Police said burglars usually target houses which seem to have less security measures in place. They urged homeowners to double lock doors, especially PVC doors and consider leaving a light or music on in the house when you leave home.

They advised not leaving phones, iPods and laptops within sight of the windows, and to keep car keys hidden from sight.

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