Police swooped on criminals in the city this week, arresting 24 suspects in 24 hours.The men were linked to serious crimes including rape, armed robbery, possession of drugs and business robbery.Working together, the Pietermaritzburg K9 unit together with the Combined Action Team (CAT) patrolled the city’s streets on the 24-hour intelligence-driven operation.On Wednesday at around 9 pm six suspects in a red Mazda were arrested after their vehicle was stopped and searched by the police units along Longmarket Street. The police found one unlicensed gun and three large knives in the vehicle. The police seized the weapons and the car.Between 10 pm and midnight the K9 and CAT members were patrolling in the Boston area and conducted a stop and search on vehicles. The officers stopped a Ford Ranger with six people inside as the occupants were behaving suspiciously. The car was searched and the police recovered six bags of compressed dagga weighing 90 kg and another carrier bag containing dagga weighing 10 kg. The six suspects were arrested. The vehicle together with the drugs was seized pending the police investigation.Another Ford Ranger was stopped and searched in Boston. The two occupants of the vehicle were arrested for the possession of 27 straws of whoonga and 10 grams of dagga with an estimated street value of R5 000.At around 2.45 am yesterday the police units responded to a tipoff from one of the Safe City CCTV volunteers informing them that a robbery was taking place at the Rhino Cash and Carry at the corner of Pietermaritz and Garfield streets.When the police arrived they found five men removing goods from the store and loading them into a Toyota minibus taxi.Three men got into the vehicle and two tried to run away. A chase ensued and all five men were caught and arrested. The police recovered 12 litres of cooking oil, four litres of wine and seven six packs of Savannah. Another five wanted suspects were arrested later on Wednesday. Four were arrested by Alexandra Road police officers. Their alleged crimes include rape, driving a vehicle without the driver’s consent, possession of drugs and malicious damage to property. The fifth was taken into custody by Plessislaer police for his alleged involvement in an armed robbery.Pietermaritzburg South cluster police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed that the K9 and CAT members embarked on the 24-hour intelligence-driven operation in both clusters and made 24 arrests and recovered drugs, motor vehicles and stolen property.“Their hard work is highly commended,” said Ngobese.