DEDICATED police units have been set up to target metal thieves.
Durham police has put together the teams of five or six officers to catch those behind the metal thefts taking place across the county.
Superintendent Dave Orford, who is leading the operation, said: “The theft of metal is an increasing problem not only in this area but across the country because of the high value that it fetches for scrap.
“We’re already doing a lot to combat the problem, gathering intelligence all the time and working closely with the people who run scrap yards in the area.
“The new teams have been put together to focus specifically on this type of crime and they aim to target those people we know to be the worst offenders.”
Officers are urging residents to contact them if they see anything suspicious on 03456 6060365.