Police seized a handgun, knives and a haul of suspected stolen mobile phones in a series of dawn raids across Sheffield.
Officers raided homes simultaneously yesterday on the first day of a six-week operation to crackdown on burglary and stolen goods.
They spent several months carrying out covert work before moving into yesterday’s arrest phase of Operation Kustody.
Dozens of extra officers, community support officers and safer neighbourhood team members were drafted in to carry out the wave of raids.
Supt Scott Green said he hoped the operation, which will carry on throughout the summer, would ‘disrupt the stolen property market’.
He said: “Our burglary rate is slightly higher than we would have wanted it to be.
“Our job is to continue to pursue those who commit crime and more importantly to impact on the stolen property market, because, without that market, without the people that buy stolen goods, it would be more difficult for those who commit burglaries to get rid of stolen property.
“The operation is designed to tackle inquisitive crime across the city. It is designed to target the stolen property market and to impact on the criminal elements across the city that want to break into houses and break into cars and steal things.
“What we are highlighting is that, as well as running successful high-profile operations like the Tour de France, we will relentlessly pursue those that commit crime across the city.
“This is the strike phase and is a culmination of several months of covert policing.”
A silver side-loading revolver was discovered alongside several knives by officers executing a warrant in Danewood Avenue, Manor.
Sergeant Phil Mackie, who led the search at the property, said: “We found a gun and other associated weapons – several knives – and scissors in places that are close to hand and suspected to be used as weapons as well.
“It’s quite common to find weapons in the addresses of criminals. Obviously, the firearm we have found in this address is rather uncommon and not something we would expect to find.”
A man was later arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.
Officers also arrested two people on suspicion of handling stolen goods in Kyle Close, Parson Cross and Heeley Bank Road, Heeley. Several suspected stolen mobile phones were also seized from the Heeley property after officers spent several hours searching the house.
A total of 16 other people – suspected of various offences including shoplifting, assault and drugs offences – were also arrested.
Mr Green said: “Our message to those committing these crimes is we will continue to pursue you.
“We will be able to police the Commonwealth Games and the Tour de France and all these other high-profile things, but the public expect us to pursue criminals and their criminality and that’s what we are highlighting.”