STACKS of cash, cars and an Aladdin’s cave of Star Wars merchandise are among the £109 million worth of loot confiscated from criminals by West Yorkshire police in the past decade.

Financial investigators at West Yorkshire Police and the Regional Asset Recovery Team (RART) have used the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to make sure crime does not pay by recovering criminals’ ill-gotten gains.

Major investigations from the past decade included the seizure of £860,000 in cash from a single house in Bradford.

One of the more unusual POCA cases involved a couple’s collection of sci-fi merchandise.

Julie Nickerson, then 55, was jailed for five years in May 2014 for stealing more than £2 million from her employers, JLA Limited. Her husband, Anthony Nickerson, then 48, was locked up for 30 months for laundering just under £1 million of the stolen cash. The couple, of Wade House Road, Shelf, were ordered to pay back more than £330,000. To raise the money, their hoard of sci-fi merchandise, including Star Wars action figures and memorabilia from Doctor Who and Thunderbirds, was auctioned off.

Other investigations by West Yorkshire Police have resulted in the seizure of various high-value items including watches, jewellery and motor vehicles, antiques and even a book worth £2,000.

In 2014, drug dealer Paul Capuvanno, 44, of Greenfield Lane, Bierley, who had once claimed he had no assets, was also ordered to pay £164,000, after detailed analysis by RART established assets belonging to him which he had tried to hide through different companies.

Detective Superintendent Nigel Costello, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Since its introduction, the Proceeds of Crime Act has become a key weapon in our fight to tackle and disrupt organised crime.

“Over the past decade the force has invested in financial investigators who have worked tirelessly to take away the criminal gains of organised criminals.

“When persons are caught and convicted this is not the end of the process, assets are traced and confiscated and these monies can be put to good use to benefit others, including victims.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “My Safer Communities Fund, which gives grants to not-for-profit organisations working to keep West Yorkshire safe, is financed by money recovered from criminals.

“The Fund launched in 2014 and has so far given out over £2 million back to our communities to over 460 different projects, many of which I have had the pleasure of visiting and seeing the positive and often amazing impact of the work being carried out.”