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Eight men and one woman have been arrested for going equipped to steal following a report of suspicious activity at petrol stations in Lincolnshire.

Officers were called to the Tesco Petrol Station, in Market Rasen, just after 1am on Sunday 5 June.

Following their inquiries two vehicles were stopped not far from the petrol station. The vehicles, both Volkswagen Passats, one in silver and one in black, were searched and the four occupants were arrested for offences of going equipped to steal and the possession of offensive weapons. A knuckle duster and an iron bar were found in the cars.

Sometime later, two further vehicles were seen by officers at Caenby Corner Petrol Station. The occupants of both vehicles, a white Vauxhall Vivaro van and a black Volkswagen Fox were also arrested for going equipped to steal.

The nine people, all from the Scunthorpe and Grimsby areas, have been released under investigation.

Chief inspector Gary Brockie said: “These are significant arrests and we are very grateful to the people who called us to report the activity. We are limited to what we can say at the moment, as the investigation is ongoing.

“We continue to disrupt any criminal activity and this includes where criminals are using our roads to commit crime.”

He appealed for anyone who has information that will assist the inquiry to get in touch by:

• clicking on the email link force.control@lincs.police.uk with the reference incident 19 of 5 June in the subject box;

• via the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident 19 of 5 June; or

• through Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.