Twelve men connected to a criminal gang of professional car thieves were arrested yesterday morning during raids by detectives of the Stolen Vehicles Squad.
Among some of the areas the suspects were held were at Enterprise Village, Chaguanas; Jerningham Junction Road, Cunupia; Charlieville, Wallerfield and the Old Arima Road, Arima.
Officers knocked on the doors of the homes, rang door bells on the gates leading to the homes of several alleged known-car thieves who operate in the Chaguanas, Trincity and Arima communities, and took several suspects into custody.
Other suspects who the officers were looking for were not at home when police showed up at their residences. In some cases, officers had to climb over walls and gates to gain access into the yards of several residences after shouts of "good morning, police" went unanswered.
The suspects who were detained, police said, who range between ages 20-25, are also wanted in connection with serious crimes throughout the country. Police also seized two ski masks, two gloves and a small quantity of marijuana during a search of the residence of a suspect in Cunupia.
The exercise was coordinated by Snr Supt Glen Hackett, ASP Gary Edwards and was led by Sgts Christopher Swamber and Andrew John Mulchan Deonarine. Also participating in the exercise were Cpls Robert Joseph and Denney, including PCs Wayne Praimdass, Vernon Mohammed, Robert Hall, Rikki Babwah, Anand Bissoon, Rickey Hallman, Osborne, Lewis and Ramroop. The exercise began around 8 p.m. on Thursday and ended at around 4 a.m. yesterday.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated exercise, ASP Stephen Grant and Insp Sahadeo Singh of the Besson Street CID led a contingent of police officers to Marcano Quarry, Picton Road and Beverly Hills, Laventille, where they locked down several areas.
Officers conducted searches at several apartments and homes in the area and detained six men, ranging between ages 18-30, on gang-related charges while eight other suspects were nabbed on outstanding warrants.
And in the Western Division, officers recovered two shotguns, a .22 pistol and a large quantity of assorted ammunition which included 7.56 and 5.56 ammunition which are used in AK-47 and Galil rifles.
The guns and ammo were found during searches within the Western Division by Task Force and CID officers, which began on Thursday night and ended yesterday.
No one was arrested during the raids. Police said since the state of emergency has been announced, in excess of 15 weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were recovered within the division.