West Midlands Police – most wanted suspects

A major drive to capture the Black Country’s most wanted suspects was today launched.

A major drive to capture the Black Country’s most wanted suspects was today launched.

The suspects wanted for questioning over a host of crimes – ranging from murder to breaching court orders – will appear in a new West Midlands Police gallery that will eventually feature 100 faces.

Click on the image on the right to see the gallery of the most wanted suspects.

The gallery on the force’s website will be constantly updated with those arrested and replaced by others from the wanted list.

The drive has been launched following the wave of arrests that followed publication of images taken from CCTV filmed during the summer riots in the West Midlands.

Scores of looters were traced and jailed following tip-offs from members of the public who recognised photographs of wanted men and women when they were published in the Express & Star and other media.

Now the region’s police are hoping for a repeat performance with suspects they rank among the most wanted in the region.

As well as being published in newspapers and screened on TV, details will also be circulated on five mobile digital display billboards. These will be parked at key locations where they can be seen by the largest number of passers-by.

The billboards will feature codes which, when scanned by smart phone users, will take people straight to the website gallery.

The drive was launched with synchronised dawn swoops on suspect addresses in Birmingham today and will continue across the region over the coming weeks.

West Midland Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth explained: “There is already lots of work going on behind the scenes to locate these individuals with raids and search warrants being executed as part of this latest police push.

“But we are hoping to speed up the arrest process by asking for help from the public in identifying wanted people.

“The support we received from this source following the riot in August last year, when we asked for help to name looters and rioters caught on CCTV, was overwhelming. Calls from the public to us directly lead to many arrests and convictions.

“When the public and police work together we can achieve great things.”

The first batch of wanted suspected – that it is anticipated will rise to 100 over the coming weeks – includes 15 people from the Black Country that detectives want to trace.

Among them is escaped prisoner John Anslow from Tipton who is charged with the murder of a Staffordshire businessman. He is on the run after being sprung from a prison van close to HMP Hewell Grange, in Tardebigge, near Bromsgrove by armed men on January 23. Anslow is accused of killing Richard Deakin, from Chasetown. The father-of-two, who ran a Walsall skip hire firm, was shot dead in July 2010. Four other men from Wolverhampton have been charged with murder and Anslow was on his way to Stafford Crown Court for a hearing on the murder when the gang pounced.

They used a silver VW Scirocco – registration BT59 NXC – before abandoning it and switching to a Mercedes. A £10,000 reward is on offer for anyone providing information leading to Anslow’s arrest and return to prison.

Another on the list is burglar Mateusz Weroniecki who has gone “underground” in the Black Country after being freed from prison. He disappeared from his West Bromwich home following his release from jail and is wanted for recall to prison after breaking the terms of his early release by vanishing from home and not attending meetings with probation officers.

The Polish-born 24-year-old burglar has a habit of confidently walking into Black Country factories to pick up car keys which he then uses to drive off in the vehicles. He also steals wallets and mobile phones or anything else he spots of value that have been left lying on desks as he combs offices.

The offence he is on licence from prison for is a burglary at a West Bromwich firm in November 2010 when a large amount of jewellery and a lap top computer from an office were taken. Weroniecki was convicted of this crime and similar offences he had committed in Walsall a few days previously. He is described as a prolific ‘sneak in’ burglar committing offences of this type on a day-to-day basis throughout the Black Country targetting factory, businesses and private offices. He vanished on January 6 but has since been sighted in the West Bromwich and Wolverhampton areas.

Marioara Chiciu is alleged to be one of a group of travelling Romanians who go into small shops in a group to distract the shopkeeper while some of them enter the living quarters to steal cash and valuables before fleeing. She has been forensically linked to at least one of these crimes.

Joanne Harrison was jailed for 18 months after kicking an elderly relative to the head in an provoked attack in August last year. She was freed last month on a home detention curfew but broke that and is now being hunted so that she can be returned to prison to complete her sentence.

The gallery is the latest of four force-wide initiatives from West Midlands Police aimed at cutting crime in the region.

In April last year bosses launched a four-month drive to ensure criminals were obeying door step curfew and bail conditions.

That was followed by a campaign to cut robbery that saw a 1,600 reduction in the number of robbery victims compared to the same time last year. Then there was a drive to improve the way the force dealt with the victims of crime.

ACC Forsyth concluded: “We have been very successful in reducing crime over the last 12 months but we aim to do more.”