A £100K Range Rover SVR stolen from Solihull was recovered when West Midlands Police shut down a chop shop in Wolverhampton.
Officers moved in on the industrial estate unit in Hickman Avenue, on Tuesday evening having received information it was storing and breaking down stolen cars. The Range Rover had been taken on Monday.
Another one of the vehicles – taken from Coleshill between June 26 and 27 – was also recovered and two more stolen cars were found – a Volvo taken during a car-key burglary in Moseley on April 23 and a Peugeot snatched in another burglary in Pensnett on June 8.
All four, plus parts we suspect are cut from other stolen vehicles, have been seized.
A 40-year-old spotted running from the location was arrested. He has since been released under investigation while officers carry out other enquiries.
Neighbourhood Taskforce Inspector Stephanie Furber, said: “It’s another significant find for us. At least four stolen cars so far have been identified but there could be remains of several more at the unit.
“We’re looking into whether the chop shop could be linked to others and we’ll be gathering evidence in a bid to close the sites down and bring charges against the suspects.
“Chop shops play an important outlet for car thieves – they can get rid of the vehicle quickly and it’s often chopped up in just a couple of hours.”
He stressed the importance of the public reporting garages or units they suspect may be taking in stolen vehicles.
“We all need to work together to combat car crime.
“Vehicle theft has increased by a third in the last year and we suspect many of them end up in chop shops where they are dismantled for parts.”
Tell-tale signs of a chop shop could include:
• Noise coming from units late at night or in the early hours of the morning;
• Vehicles that look out of place going in to workshops and not coming back out;
• Large amounts of car parts being stored, sometimes in odd places such as gardens;
• Shipping containers in unusual locations;
• Expensive items such as engines and gearboxes outside workshops;
• Items for sale via on-line auction sites from the same seller, often in large quantities of the same item or similar.
Anyone who suspects a chop shop in their area should submit information via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk or by calling 101.