THREE ‘key offenders’ who have allegedly been stealing vehicles across Barnsley have been arrested by the police.

New data from a police report shows 197 investigations into auto crime took place between July and September in Barnsley.

Police bosses say there has been a ‘spate of vehicle thefts’ across the district, predominantly focused on stealing Ford Fiestas.

A report added: “During September we experienced 29 thefts of these vehicles, this series has now significantly reduced following the arrest of three key offenders involved in this series.

“Reductions are now evident following our prompt proactivity of this theft series.

“From April to June, 15 offenders were arrested for vehicle crime and within the same period 12 suspects were charged with offences. “Barnsley’s action taken rate for this period was 7.5 per cent, significantly above the force average and other districts.”