DETECTIVES have arrested four men following searches in the Newry and Warrenpoint areas of south Down.
The searches were conducted yesterday as part of an investigation into an abduction and robbery in Warrenpoint in March earlier this year.
The probe also centred on a number of other violent robberies of residents in the South Down area.
Jewellery was recovered during the searches in addition to other items.
A 38 year old man, a 35 year old man and a 49 year old man were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary, false imprisonment, kidnapping, possession of a firearm and robbery.
A 49 year old man was arrested on suspicion of AOABH, threats to kill, aggravated burglary, false imprisonment, kidnapping, possession of a firearm and robbery.
All four were taken to Ardmore police station in Newry for fingerprinting, DNA testing and questioning.
They have since been released on bail pending further enquiries by detectives.
In one incident, a family was held hostage in their home by the gang.
The mother was forced to go to the family run business in Warrenpoint where she was ordered to remove expensive items of jewellery.