London: Sometimes a little greed can cost us dear. A number of suspects wanted in connection with a string of unsolved crimes by Derbyshire police learnt this lesson recently, quite foolishly, when they fell for an offer of free beer.

According to Derbyshire police, as many as 19 suspects wanted in connection with a range of offences including robbery, burglary and sexual assault were detained after police officers wrote to a group of people, urging them to take advantage of a complimentary crate of beer, courtesy of a marketing company.

The suspects, who had evaded arrest for several months, fell in the trap that had been laid as part of a sting operation being carried out in a month-long campaign targeting serious crime across north Derbyshire.

The suspects fell for the hoax, as they called the number printed on the letters, which put them through to officers based at Chesterfield Police Station.

Police then arranged a time and date for the free alcohol to be dropped off, but instead arrested those awaiting the beverages at locations in Chesterfield, Staveley, Alfreton, Ilkeston, Sheffield and Nottingham.

Chief Inspector Graham McLaughlin of Derbyshire Police who led the operation, said: "These suspects are people who have managed to evade arrest for some time so we have used different tactics to find them.”

"It has been very cost-effective as it can take a lot of time and money to track people down."