Suspect arrested after chop shop is shut down

FRESNO – Investigators with the Fresno Police Department were able to shut down a chop shop on Tuesday afternoon after following home a suspected car thief.

Investigators had a suspect, 24-year-old Michael Crabtree, under surveillance on Tuesday because they believed he was a car thief. Police followed him home to the 3800 block of East Pitt Avenue near South Orange Street, and discovered the home was being used as a chop shop.

When police arrived at the scene around 3:15 p.m., they found the suspect about to strip down a Saturn that had been reported stolen the previous day. Police say the vehicle was found repainted, but still in one piece.

“We saw (the suspect) with the vehicle, and he had started to dismantle the vehicle, he was starting to strip the vehicle,” said Sgt. Timothy Tietjen with the department’s Career Criminal Auto Theft Team.

Investigators entered the premises, arrested Crabtree, and recovered the stolen vehicle he was about to strip.

“We also discovered component parts and numerous other parts to show that he had actively been stripping other cars here for a long period of time,” Tietjen said.

Investigators will now have to look through all of the parts as well as VIN numbers to try to match the parts and components to vehicles that were stolen in the past.

Tietjen said that this isn’t one of the bigger chop shops in Fresno, and probably sees three to five vehicles in a period of two weeks. However, he said that they all matter, and even shutting down a smaller shop is important.

The stolen Saturn was returned to its owner.

Crabtree was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, operating a chop shop, and several outstanding warrants.

Read More:

KMPH26: Fresno Mom Gets Stolen Car Back After Chop Shop Bust

CBS47tv: Chop Shop Busted in South Fresno

abc30: Police shutdown a chop shop in SE Fresno

Suspect arrested after chop shop is shut down was last modified: January 11th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Fresno, Headline Story

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