Several owners identified after chop shop bust; one suspect ID’d by SCSO

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a chop shop bust involving a dozen stolen vehicles.

Incident reports show that on May 5, Shelby County detectives executed a search warrant at a warehouse in the 1600 block of Highland Street in Memphis.

They found a dozen vehicles that had been reported stolen.

Detectives noticed a segment of the fence was cut out, connecting the location with a warehouse next door, located in the 1600 block of Highland Street.

After acquiring a search warrant for that location, detectives searched inside and found it was being used as a chop shop.

“It’s just crazy. It’s crazy,” said Tyrone Watson, a resident of that neighborhood.

Watson said he drives by this site on Highland Street all the time and was surprised to see the reports of what was going on inside.

“I love old cars. I see them come and go, and I just figured that at this place they trade them or whatever, and that’s what goes on,” Watson said.

The report shows, in total, 22 vehicles, as well as a stolen heavy equipment excavator, three trailers, a four-wheeler, and a forklift, were recovered from both locations.

On Monday, investigators identified the owners of four of the vehicles and one of the trailers, a U-Haul.

The additional vehicles were taken to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office on Dovecrest Road in Memphis.

Watson says he’ll be keeping a closer eye on his truck when he locks up for the night.

“I may look out once or twice just to see if everything looks well, and I’ll go ahead and go to sleep,” he said. “You know, you have to take life as it is.”

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has named one suspect, so far.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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