Men behind 80 burglaries arrested

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The Oost-Brabant police arrested four men in their homes in Venlo, Friday, for suspicion of at least eighty burglaries in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Oost-Brabant unit had started a large-scale investigation in August, together with the Limburg police, after they managed to secure DNA-evidence the thieves left during an attempted burglary in Leende.

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The four, of Polish descent, aged 48, 37, 30, and 19, are held responsible for burglaries in Brabant, Gelderland, Limburg, Utrecht, and Zuid-Holland.

The thieves went after valuables such as jewelry, mobile phones, cars, laptops, tablets, and TV's. In a joint effort of Brabant and Limburg, 40 officers searched several sites in Venlo, under supervision of the magistrate. Police not only found stolen goods, but also a stolen car.

A 20-year-old homeless man was arrested earlier in Rumpt, on Tuesday. Police had to chase him down and shots were fired. Police think he may be connected to this group.

The Dutch police work together with the Belgian police in this case, since the four are also suspected of several burglaries in Belgium. In the past few years the Netherlands and Belgium successfully worked on cases that stretched across their borders. Just this past Thursday a treaty was signed, making the international coöperation official. Belgian and Dutch police can now use each other's so-called liaison officers. These officers are Dutch or Belgian officers, stationed abroad, whose job it is to mediate in international cases that are linked to where they are stationed. Under this treaty lists of stolen cars and license plates are exchanged daily for use with cameras with license plate recognition. The lists are accessible to all police officers in both countries.