POLICE lured in wanted criminals with a fake free Christmas hamper offer — making 21 arrests in two days.
Regional scheme Operation Holly saw South Yorkshire Police send a card to a list of those wanted in connection with burglary, drink-driving, drugs offences and harassment.
They were asked to arrange a delivery slot with fictitious firm Herald Hampers — but when the knock came it was police and the hamper “winners” were arrested.
Det Chief Insp Lee Berry said: “Some of those arrested were wanted in relation to serious charges, including supplying an illegal article into prison, dangerous driving, drink-driving, assault and fraud.
“It’s encouraging that our innovative approach has yielded positive results and we will continue to explore new avenues for apprehending those wanted, which impacts upon the victims of crime.
“Sending officers to addresses where wanted people no longer reside is also a drain on valuable police resources.”
He added: “Anyone who feels they are above the law might want to reconsider their stance. South Yorkshire Police will relentlessly pursue those who commit crime.”