Operations took place on four days in conjunction with the National Metal Theft Taskforce and Operation Tornado.
Officers were out tackling people suspected of transporting and trading scrap metal, as well as gathering intelligence and giving crime prevention advice.
Officers arrested 11 people for metal theft and seven for other offences such as drugs and failing to appear at court. Stolen cable and two catalytic converters were seized, along with red diesel, drugs and drug cultivation equipment.
Police stopped and searched 106 vehicles. Four were seized for no insurance and another four were reported to Sheffield Council for not having the correct waste carrier licence. Two defect rectification notices were issued and two drivers were reported on summons.
Eighteen people, who are known to be involved in metal theft activities, were visited and issued with letters about their conduct.
Metal theft crime prevention tips were given to local businesses and community groups. Police also visited crap yards in Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley.
Operation Tornado was set up to better regulate the scrap metal industry and restrict the movement of stolen metal by identifying unscrupulous dealers.
Ch Supt Bill Hotchkiss said: “This is the third high-profile metal theft operation South Yorkshire Police have executed this year.”
“Scrap yards in the county and those moving and dealing with stolen metal have been targeted by police, several times recently so they know we are watching them and this is part of a long-term plan to deter unlawful actions and better regulate the industry.”
“These operations involve local communities, businesses and partners as well as assistance from legitimate scrap metal dealers. The whole community can be affected by the consequences of metal theft, so it is important that we all pull together to tackle it.”
If you have any information on metal theft call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”