TWO people have been arrested on suspicion of theft after police were called to a car dealership in Shrewsbury following reports batteries had been stolen.

Staff at the garage in Harlescott Lane reported that the occupants of a white Ford Transit van had just driven off after stealing several car batteries from the site at about 1.20pm on June 28.

A search was carried out for the vehicle and officers traced it to the A5, near the junction for Wellington, just a few minutes later.

They followed the vehicle back towards Shrewsbury where it pulled over in a lay-by near the Preston Island and its occupants were arrested on suspicion of theft.

A search of the vehicle revealed several car batteries and other items of scrap metal, which police believe may also have been stolen.

The van and its contents were seized for forensic examination.

A 20-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man have been interviewed and released on police bail pending further enquiries.

PC Jason Simcock said the quick actions of staff at the dealership resulted in an arrest just a few minutes later.

He said: “They alerted us immediately to the alleged theft and were able to provide a registration number for the vehicle involved, which allowed us to identify it during a search over the next few minutes.

“The more information we are given when getting reports of suspected metal thefts, the higher the chance of us tracing the suspects and any vehicles involved quickly.”

Operation Livewire is an ongoing West Mercia Police campaign to tackle the theft of metals across Shropshire.

As well as stop checks on vehicles carrying scrap metal, scrap dealers may also be subjected to spot checks to ensure they were operating legally and not receiving stolen goods.