Chop shop crackdown continues; DPD busts east side operation

Another illegal chop shop has been busted in Detroit but this time the owner admits it. 

From the outside, neighbors couldn't tell.

"Just cars going in and out," said one neighbor. "And that was just about it."

But inside a run-down blue brick building off Van Dyke on Detroit's east side. DPD's commercial auto theft unit discovered the chop shop operation.

Thanks to a tip, officers conducted surveillance and ran a license plate finding out the car had been stolen.

A search warrant then led them to so many more.

"It looks like some of the vehicles were stolen out of Detroit as far back as February of this year," said Sgt. Jonathan Parnell of the police's auto theft unit.

It looked like he was running a repair shop but the owner was actually stashing the stolen vehicles at a garage and also at a neighboring building at Lynch and Van Dyke. And when police finally brought him into custody - he admitted it

."Fortunately sometimes when you are faced  with something like this, the best thing is just to be honest about it," Parnell said. "This person was honest about it."

The owner, said to be in his late 30s had been stealing, stripping and then selling the car parts.

Police believe most of the cars were stolen from Detroit and estimated in total around $60,000.

"Nothing at all, there was no activity so I wasn't aware there was a chop shop up there," said one neighbor.

Another neighbor said, "I had no clue, I just thought the guy was working, I had no idea about the cars," said another neighbor.

Detroit police continue to crack down on auto theft-related crimes. If you know of any chop shops in your neighborhood call the confidential 24/7 tip line at 1-800-242-HEAT.
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