MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Opa-locka police say an anonymous tip led them to what they believe is a chop shop.
“Two weeks ago we had a call of possible stolen vehicles in this area. So officers responded. They have been doing surveillance to try to see if in fact the information was true,” said Opa-locka Police Chief James Dobson.
Dobson said they received a second call Thursday morning. When they went to investigate further they discovered two men working on cars in a warehouse bay in the 2100 block of NW 139th Street. They also found a number of vehicles that had been reported stolen.
“Those two individuals were taken into custody for the stolen vehicles. We came out to recover one stolen vehicle. So far now we are up to five. All high end vehicles,” said Dobson.
So far an Audi, Mercedes, two BMW’s and a Cadillac Escalade have been recovered. And police think there will be more.
“There are some vehicles that are chopped in parts. That’s why I am saying there are more vehicles here that are in parts,” said Dobson.
The chop shop blended into the warehouse district where some bays were being used by car repair services and there is a nearby auto salvage yard.
Police say the two men in custody were actually squatters who found open bays to work out of.
“What investigators believe is that they are being stolen here and shipped out of the country in either full, or whole, or actually in pieces. So we have several vehicles’ parts in there that are not the same vehicle,“ said Dobson.
Police are now looking into the company, Caribbean Shipping and Transport, that they believe performed the shipping.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Ismael Jacobo who works next door.
Jacobo said he had his truck stolen but luckily he found it a few blocks away.
It’s believed that the two men arrested were just employees and not really behind the operation.