UNDERCOVER police snared crime suspects by sending them letters saying they had won a free crate of alcohol.
A total of 19 men and women who had been wanted for some time, for offences including rape, serious assaults, theft and harassment, were caught by Derbyshire Police as part of Operation Rocky.
Eighty people who had persistently avoided police inquiries were sent a letter saying they had won a free crate of beer.
It was only when the unsuspecting 19 recipients called to arrange a delivery that they were arrested by plain-clothes police who turned up instead.
Chief Inspector Graham McLaughlin said: “These are Chesterfield’s dumbest criminals.
“This operation shows we think outside the box, that we really care about getting criminals off the streets.”