A GROUP of five people have been arrested after an investigation into armed robberies and false online advertisements on website eBay.

Four men – aged 43, 24, 22 and 19 – and a 41-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery. They all remain in custody to be interviewed by detectives.

Officers also recovered a stolen car and two machetes during the arrests – which took place in the Oldham and Newton Heath areas of Greater Manchester.

The investigation is in connection with several armed robberies that are believed to have occurred between Tuesday November 19, 2019, and Wednesday, January 22, 2020 following false car adverts.

When the investigation was launched, a spokesman for eBay said they were working with the police and had suspended a number of accounts.

DI Joseph Harrop, of GMP’s Serious and Organised Crime Group, said: “Our dedicated team of detectives have been working extensively to investigate this shocking string of violent and abhorrent attacks and while we have made five arrests, we continue to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

“It is important that the intensity of this investigation persists and therefore we continue to ask members of the public to contact police if they have any information or concerns that they have relating to armed robberies of this nature.

“I would also like to remind members of the public to remain vigilant and alert when dealing with online advertisements on auction sites and anyone with any suspicions should contact police in confidence immediately.”

Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 4409 quoting incident number 1926 of 21/01/2020.

Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.