Los Angeles task force arrests nine in chop shop operation

Publish Date: 
Jan 2, 2014

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A task force investigation has revealed a chop shop operation that targeted motorcycle owners in Los Angeles and Orange counties and resulted in nine arrests, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Dec. 27.

This latest news follows another bust announced in mid-December that netted nearly $1 million in stolen parts and resulted in more than 50 arrests.

Investigators this time recovered 33 motorcycles and dozens of frames and parts from four storage units in Duarte, all stolen from North Hollywood, Long Beach, Compton and other areas throughout Los Angeles County.

“They were stealing a lot of them from subterranean garages of apartment and condo complexes,” according to Capt. Randal Stover of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, a supervisor with the Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention (TRAP), which uncovered the ring. “They would look for the bikes they wanted and go in late at night and take them from condo and apartment complexes.”

The motorcycles recovered were mostly Ducati, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki sportbikes, with the exception of one Harley-Davidson. Many had parts removed.

Detectives told the Los Angeles Daily News the thieves would pull up in a white van with blacked-out windows or a pickup truck, move a motorcycle inside or into the truck bed and drive away in seconds.

TRAP is made up of officers from LAPD, the Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol.

LAPD Detective Jess Corral said the scope of the ring is still being investigated, and more arrests are likely. “We’re still looking into it, but we think there could be more people involved, from what we already know about them,” he said. Those already arrested face multiple charges related to the crimes.

Posted by Holly Wagner