POLICE who conducted an early morning raid at a house in Torquay say they have seized a substantial amount of suspected stolen property.
The raid, which took place in the Torre area at around 8am on Tuesday, resulted in the recovery of foodstuffs, cosmetics and toiletries, including 50 cans of deodorant, worth just over £1,000.
It involved six officers from the Torquay-based South Devon Pro-active Unit, who were in plain clothes, and four officers from the local policing team, who were in uniform.
The officers believed the house was occupied by a man in his 60s.
There were four adults in the house when the police gained entry.
Inspector Adrian Leisk said the raid was part of Operation Action. He said: "This was launched in November to target shoplifting and support local businesses, who have had an extremely tough couple of years, through this vital Christmas trading period.
"Some individuals prey on offenders who have a drug habit and often sell goods below market value.
"If we can take out the people prepared to handle these goods we will go a long way to reducing the problem in the long term.
"We know some families are going to be struggling this Christmas, but purchasing goods knowing or believing them to be stolen is a criminal offence."
Acting Detective Sergeant Jason Metcalfe, who took part in the raid, added: "There tends to be more crime towards Christmas. Shopkeepers dread the amount of shoplifting at this time of year.
"But in Torbay we have our best crime figures of recent times. We're aiming to keep crime at a low level."
He said Operation Action was mainly looking for shoplifted goods, but also anticipated getting back items which had been stolen from motor vehicles.
He said: "There are lots of people preying on people being lazy and leaving their car with the door unlocked."
At the raid this week the team covered the front and back of the house and knocked at the back door, which they understood was used more than the front.
They were prepared to force entry, but this was unnecessary. When the police were admitted, they began to search the premises and they found a lot of property piled up.
A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods in connection with the incident and released on bail while inquiries continue.