More than 300 police officers have taken part in raids in the south-east of England.
The police crackdown focused an alleged legal gang suspected of stealing catalytic converters.
Police officers from the Met, Kent, Essex and British Transport Police – in addition to staff from the Government Agency Intelligence Network – executed the raids in east London, Kent and Essex.
Eight of the warrants had been carried out at neighbouring properties in Millfields Road, Lower Clapton – and 150 officers had been concerned in these raids, in addition to canine handlers and a police helicopter.
Two males had been later arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft of catalytic converters, whereas a 3rd man was detained on suspicion of stealing extra than 25 of the elements.
In addition, police seized extra than 18 catalytic converters, in addition to instruments used in their theft together with an angle grinder.
They additionally seized stolen automobiles, £50,000 in money and a amount of medicine.
Nine autos with false quantity plates had been found at one website in east London.
Meanwhile, investigators additionally raided a metallic processing plant in Hackney, north London the place in addition to converters there was different stolen metallic believed to be from railways and telephone masts.
In Essex, a delivery container holding stolen metallic and automotive elements was intercepted earlier than it might be despatched to Ivory Coast.
Catalytic converters comprise treasured metals and so have a comparatively excessive worth as scrap.
They are sometimes shipped overseas to be refined.
Detective Chief Inspector James Stanyer, the Met’s lead officer for motorized vehicle crime, stated: “The criminals concerned in stealing catalytic converters usually commit their offences in full view of the house owners of the car and different members of the general public, leaving them shocked and terrorised.
“The intelligence gathered throughout this investigation will in the end result in extra proactive work to stop this crime and deliver these concerned in it to face the results of their actions.”
Many various kinds of automotive are focused by catalytic converter thieves.
As part of a fightback towards the development, Toyota has now began a nationwide marking scheme to make recovering stolen elements simpler.