THERMAL – Following a report of a stolen vehicle, police discovered an operational chop shop and made one arrest.
On Sunday May 20 at 2:31AM a call came into police dispatch reporting a stolen vehicle in the area of Calle Bonita and Calle Ninos. Officers were able to locate the vehicle, which was parked along the curb. Two of the vehicle’s tires were missing. Police identified two suspicious adult Hispanic males in the near vicinity, arresting Abel Salome, 28 years of age and from Coachella. He was booked at the Riverside County Jail in Indio on various felony charges. The other suspect eluded capture and remains at large. Police describe him as a Hispanic male in his twenties, wearing dark clothing.
Upon further investigation, police located a hub where stolen vehicles are dissembled for the purposes of reselling the stolen parts. This “Chop Shop” was in the backyard of a residence in the 53-000 block of Calle Bonita and contained several other vehicles in various states of dismemberment. Riverside Auto Theft Interdiction Detail (RAID) was called in to further investigate the situation. RAID, formed in 1993, is a multi-agency task force which includes California Highway Patrol, Riverside Sheriff’s Department and local police departments. RAID focuses on abating car thefts and assisting in the return of stolen vehicles. Captain Frank Taylor stated that, “The investigation is still unfolding, but at least one other confirmed stolen vehicle was recovered that had been stripped of parts.”
Mydesert.com: Stolen car leads to ‘chop shop’ discovery in Coachella