Detroit chop shop busted for second time in two years

- Police said they arrested a Detroit man Monday morning for running a chop shop out of a home on the city's west side, the second time they've raided his home in two years.

Sterling Gist, 38, was arrested at his home on Rutland where police said he was housing multiple stolen vehicles, stolen engines, and more.

Police said they were called to the home when a neighbor saw a brand new Dodge Charger being pushed down the street by a Chevrolet Tahoe around 5 a.m. Monday. Detroit Police Sgt. Otha Craighead said this is the second time Gist has been arrested for the crime. 

"Last year we executed a search warrant at the same house, arrested the same individual for the same charge," Craighead said. "We recovered ten vehicles, three of which were stolen, two full engines and transmissions - brand new. In the backyard in a residential neighborhood, (they were) chopping up vehicles. There were parts all over."

Among the recovered engines was a $15,000 engine from a 2019 Charger or Challenger - and it was stolen right off the lot of a Chrysler plant in Toledo.

Gist has multiple convictions in multiple counties for auto theft and is currently on probation. Neighbors say he's a nice guy but a few months back, he was nearly killed.

"We were sleeping early in the morning. I heard boom, boom, boom. I looked out, I couldn't see what was going on - it was so loud - and this person actually shot 30 rounds and he had changed clips. (He) got out the truck and shot 30 more. They were really trying to get him," neighbor Michael Payne said.

Payne also said he's tried to convince Gist to change his ways.

"I (told him) you can go to jail, you can die, or you can quit - that's your choices," he said.

Police said he didn't heed that advice.

Neighbor say they just want a peaceful, quiet neighborhood that's free from crime.

"We just like it nice and quiet. (We're) homeowners - that's all we are - just trying to protect our property and keep what we have," Payne said.

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