INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Police are calling it the biggest crime sweep in the history of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“Operation First Step” resulted in dozens of arrests over the weekend as officers served warrants for suspects on the north, northwest and east sides of town. In all, 26 suspects were arrested.
Police say one suspect did escape being caught, at least for now.
Handcuffing dozens of suspects, Indianapolis police hit the streets in full force this weekend serving warrants all over town.
“The commander of SWAT got on the megaphone and said, ‘Occupants of 244, come on out.’ I freaked out,” said Rodney Evans.
Rodney watched as police broke down his neighbor’s door.
Officers came to the east side home searching for Charles Richardson who was wanted for animal cruelty charges. He wasn’t home.
“They took the battering ram and hit the door, but I guess he wasn’t there,” said Evans.
Court records claim police previously found drugs and a scarred pit bull, workout equipment and books promoting dog fighting inside Richardson’s home.
Inside another home on the northwest side, police busted up a rare bootlegging operation.
Police arrested 64-year-old Wilbert Matthews after discovering hundreds of bottles of beer, gin and vodka inside his home.
“It’s a beginning. We’re going to learn what we did well,” said IMPD chief Troy Riggs.
Police chief Riggs oversaw the operation which involved 150 officers. Riggs says the sweep had two goals.
“Short term we’re hoping to drive crime down now and get more information from citizens. Long term we want to make sure we’re strengthening social services. We think that will give us long term crime prevention."
The chief also says the crime crackdown will continue in the coming months.
“We don`t want anyone to be under the misconception that we did this one time and we`re finished. We`re not. We`ve got second operation already in the works,” said Riggs.
“It`s a good thing. It is a good thing. It makes the streets a lot safer for the kids and for older folks like me,” said Evans.
In addition to the arrests, police seized drugs, guns, cars and thousands of dollars in cash.
Anyone with information Richardson can also contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.