Dallas Police officers with the Auto Theft Task Force uncovered an illegal “chop shop” yesterday in Oak Cliff. Inside were thirty-two disassembled vehicles, and more were hidden in a nearby wooded lot.
Officers initially responded to the 800 block of JJ Lemmons Road, where they then found a “chop shop,” an illegal garage where mechanics dismantle cars and sell them for parts.
The Department of Public Safety’s helicopter, called DPS-101, was tracking a Cadillac based on a LoJack hit, or an alert from their stolen vehicle recovery system, which uses GPS to locate vehicles. The helicopter spotted a white pick-up truck loaded with stripped parts leaving the property. DPS-101 officers alerted officers on the ground.
The helicopter followed the truck to a gas station on I-145 at Linwood Road, where officers on the ground arrested two suspects. The names of the suspects have not been released.
Along with DPS-101, the investigation was assisted by Dallas Police Air 1, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hutchins Police Department. According to NBC DFW, the police stated that they “are working with auto-theft detectives as they investigate this incident.”
The Dallas Police Department’s Facebook page offers tips on how to identify a possible chop shop in your neighborhood. Here is a list of what to look for:
- High fencing
- Various stages of disassembled vehicles
- Acetylene cutting torches
- Parts such as tires, seats, wheels, doors, fuel tanks, transmissions, and engines
- Loud noises at odd hours
- Vehicles entering a site and not coming out
- Vehicles with covers over them
- Trucks or vans coming and going
If you suspect a chop shop is operating in your neighborhood, contact the Auto Theft Salvage Squad at 214-670-5900 or email [email protected].