MESA, AZ - Mesa police say they've completed an operation resulting in numerous arrests and the recovery of hundreds of guns as well as thousands of stolen items at Eazy Pick N Pawn, located near Main Street and Alma School Road in Mesa.
Police said in advance of a scheduled Tuesday afternoon news conference that the operation targeted a pawn shop that allegedly trafficked nearly exclusively in stolen property.
Officers recovered approximately 300 guns and other items including TV's, gaming consoles, printers, coffee makers, gold and cash.
The operation began after a stolen handgun was located inside a vehicle during a traffic stop, police said. The driver was identified as Aaron Ellertson, owner of Eazy Pick N Pawn.
Investigators determined that stolen property was being run through the pawn shop on a daily basis, police said.
The investigation came to a close when detectives served search warrants at the locations owned by Ellertson, police said.
Authorities are now going through the stolen property to determine the proper owner, police said.
Police say 16 arrests were made in conjunction with the operation dubbed "Bonded Ammo."
According to police, the recovered items were stolen from individuals and retailers. They say the Organized Retail Crime Association helped police identify items stolen from Target, Walmart and Kroger.