South Yorkshire Police was out in force on Monday to iron out metal theft across the county.
The impact on metal theft initiative produced 11 ‘significant’ arrests linked to around £50,000 of suspected stolen goods.
Those included four men and one woman who were arrested in Rotherham in relation to metal thefts in North Wales in October.
Searches of their homes revealed 20 tonnes of metal, including £12,000 of Tungsten, a suspected electric stun gun, CS gas and a suspected modified air rifle. Police also found a £20,000 metal grading gun, which had been stolen in Derbyshire in September. All five were bailed until January.
Officers also visited 20 scrap yards and stopped and searched 235 vehicles, seizing seven.
A van containing a small amount of copper was seized and the owner fined for using red diesel. Two men were reported on summons for driving while disqualified and another was reported for not holding the correct waste carrier license.
Superintendent Tim Innes said impact on metal theft had achieved its aims in supporting crime reductions, raising awareness of new legislation and working in partnership to make communities safer.
“The board range of results demonstrates how broad metal theft is and how many other crime types are linked to metal,” he said.
“Metal theft operations involve local communities, businesses and partners as well as assistance from legitimate scrap metal dealers. The whole community can be affected by the consequences of metal theft, so it is important that we all pull together to tackle it.”
“If scrap metal dealers are operating in cash, they are now breaking the law. Report them to police by calling 101.”
He also urged people to report suspicious activity by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.