SIX people were arrested yesterday in a crackdown on prolific burglars.

Police carried out dawn swoops on addresses in Stockton, as part of a two-week-long operation aimed at finding the culprits behind a string of commercial burglaries in the Portrack area of the town.

Cleveland Police said stolen property worth about £5,000 was seized in the raids, code-named Operation Nike.

As well as recovering stolen goods police, arrested six men, aged between 19 and 47, on suspicion of burglary.

A total of 18 officers took part in the swoops, early in the morning, on six addresses across the town.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jermy, of Stockton Police, said the raids had come in response to a number of burglaries on businesses in Portrack over the past four to six weeks.

He said: "We identified a series of burglaries on commercial premises in that area and these arrests have followed on from that. The raids went very well, and those detained are currently helping police with their inquiries."

Det Sgt Jermy said all the detained men lived in or originated from the Portrack area. He said it was not yet clear whether they were working together as part of a gang.

The raids were carried out as part of Cleveland Police's Operation Sabre campaign.

In recent months, the anti-crime drive has seen police mount a series of raids on addresses across the force area, targeting drug dealers and persistent criminals.

So far, the crime blitz has seen more than 1,300 criminals rounded up. In addition, drugs with a street value of £112,608 have been recovered and £22,245 in drugs money, seized.

In April alone, there were three separate dawn raids, resulted in 33 arrests by police.

Det Sgt Jermy said : "We will continue the hunt for those committing crime in our area.

"The arrests this morning show that we will continue to be relentless in our crackdown on any criminal activity."

Anyone with information on these or any other crimes is asked to call Cleveland Police on (01642) 326326.