A major ring allegedly fencing new appliances stolen from houses under construction was broken up as federal and local law enforcement officers raided 14 District homes and businesses and arrested eight people Wednesday and yesterday, D.C. police said yesterday.

Police said the fencing ring, which operated out of businesses and homes in Northwest and Northeast Washington, specialized in "stolen-to-order," high-price items such as refrigerators, dishwashers and microwave ovens -- some still boxed in factory shipping crates.

The ring allegedly hit homes throughout the region and operated out of businesses that included a Northeast liquor store and a Northwest beauty salon.

Members of the District and Montgomery County repeat offenders units and FBI agents conducted a three-month undercover investigation and recovered an estimated $100,000 worth of stolen property. Law enforcement officials said the arrests would help staunch the estimated 20 burglaries a week that the fencing operation supported.

"It wasn't that much in property, but it'll have a tremendous effect on burglaries because these people were a network," said Inspector Edward J. Spurlock, commander of the D.C. police department's Repeat Offenders Project (ROP). "These people steal on order. They only steal what they can move in a hurry."

The undercover operation was called ROPTIDE, a name derived from a combination of the acronym of the police units and the favorite college football team of two of the operation's FBI agents, the University of Alabama's Crimson Tide.

"Operation ROPTIDE demonstrates the continued commitment of area jurisdictions to put pressure on the economic base of many crimes, the fence," D.C. Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. said yesterday. "The operation also illustrates the close cooperation between law enforcement agencies working together to combat crime."

The fencing ring was unusual in that three of its key operators -- including one of the network's two "kingpins" -- were women, marking the first time that D.C. police have arrested female fences, Spurlock said.

Police identified as "kingpins" in the ring Mattie McLain, 50, of 1352 Rittenhouse St. NW, and Rufus Stancil, 52, of 7012 Eighth St. NW. They said that McLain allegedly operated out of the Lucky Seven Variety Store, at 1545 New Jersey Ave. NW and that Stancil allegedly operated out of Brookland Liquors at 3000 12th St. NE.

Stancil was charged yesterday with interstate transportation of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property, both of which are felony offenses, and McLain was charged on Wednesday with trafficking in stolen property, police said.

Information developed two years ago during the investigation of a similar fencing ring that operated out of the Atlantic Plumbing Supply Co. at 807 V St. NW led police and FBI agents to their investigation of what they called "widespread fencing operations scattered throughout the District which were dealing in property stolen in D.C., Virginia and Maryland."

"It was a situation where D.C. had the fences and we had the burglars and the victims. Interstate transportation {of the stolen property to the District} brought in the FBI," said Sgt. Scott Kessler, head of Montgomery's repeat offenders unit.

"ROP Metropolitan Police Department had developed information on the fences. We were able to identify the burglars and follow them, in some cases from their homes, to construction sites," Kessler said. "Numerous times we and FBI agents watched them load the property onto vehicles and take it downtown."

Kessler said more than 100 thefts at Montgomery sites were linked to the operation.

Also arrested yesterday and charged with trafficking in stolen property was Robert Davis, whose age was unknown, of 11420 Vale Spring Dr., Oakton, and Cleve Harris, whose age also was unknown, of 614 Third St. NE.

Arrested Wednesday and charged with trafficking in stolen property were Lola Wilkins, 39, of 2622 Brentwood Rd. NE, who police allege operated out of Airway Climate Control, a heating and air-conditioning business at 505 Kennedy St. NW; Mozell Beane, 37, of 903 Taylor St. NE, who police allege operated out of Mozell's Beauty Salon at 1403 Park Rd. NW and Ronald Jackson, 45, of 2214 Gaylord St., Suitland. Arrested Wednesday and charged with receiving stolen property was Everol H. Willacy, 34, of 315 W St. NE.

Those arrests followed the arrests last month and in July of five men who police allege stole the appliances, doors and windows from homes and condominiums under construction or renovation in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

Police said that many of the items were stolen from unguarded town house and single-family home construction sites in Montgomery along the Rte. 29 corridor between White Oak and the Howard County line. The arrests of the five men who allegedly did the stealing already has "reduced really to a trickle" thefts at construction sites and police have closed more than 100 burglary cases in Montgomery as a result of their arrests, Kessler said.