LOWELL -- Police have recovered five illegal firearms during the past week, which the department said will "undoubtedly help reduce gun-related crimes across the city."

The public played a "direct and critical role" in the recovery of the weapons, police said Tuesday. Police also recovered two pellet guns that look a lot like real firearms, which is also critical, police said, because pellet or BB guns are often mistaken by law enforcement for real guns.

"The importance of open communication and our partnership with our community cannot be overstated," Police Superintendent William Taylor said in a statement. "The relationship with our community has been the cornerstone of our policing efforts here in the city."

Anyone with information about an illegal firearm or the identity of a person carrying such weapons is asked to contact police at 978-937-3200. Anonymous tips may also be submitted at 978-459-TIPS (8477).