(CBS) – Six suspects have been arrested and charged in what Chicago police say was an organized theft ring that targeted catalytic converters.

The long-term investigation, dubbed “Operation Hot Pipe,” focused on a recycling center in the 4600 block of West Chicago Avenue, police said in a news release.

“The investigation revealed that the recycling center and its associated employees regularly purchased and resold stolen catalytic converters, as well as various other metals and materials,” according to the news release.

Authorities served a search warrant Wednesday, which resulted in six arrests. Police also confiscated two vehicles and more than $300,000 in cash.

Arrested and charged with felony theft were: Felipe Gomez, 47, of Chicago, the recycling center’s owner; Osmar Gonzalez, 30, of Chicago; Ana Gomez-Quinanilla, 26, of Chicago; Raul Ledesma, 33, of Cicero; Jose Valentin Portillo, 26, of Cicero; and Gerry Robertson, 46, of Chicago. They are next expected to be in court on April 23.

Chicago police were assisted by the Schaumburg Police Department and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Catalytic converters are anti-pollution devices. They are targeted by thieves and cut from vehicle exhaust systems because the parts contain valuable metals, such as platinum. Repair bills can run hundreds of dollars for victims.

Clockwise from left: Ana Gomez-Quintanilla; Osmar Gonzalez; Felipe Gomez; Gerry Robertson; Jose Valentin Portillo; and Raul Ledesma. (Chicago Police Dept.)

Clockwise from left: Ana Gomez-Quintanilla; Osmar Gonzalez; Felipe Gomez; Gerry Robertson; Jose Valentin Portillo; and Raul Ledesma. (Chicago Police Dept.)