Auckland 'chop shop' busted

Police found 12 stolen cars when they searched a South Auckland workshop allegedly operating an illegal car ringing business, police say.

Car ringing - also known as chop shops - is when mechanics dismantle stolen cars and sell them for parts.

The Counties Manukau road crime unit found a dozen stolen cars and arrested and charged a number of people with receiving and theft offences, following a raid on the premises, police said.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind people to make sure you're taking your car to legitimate places of business," Inspector Neil Fisher said today.

The engines in cars of legitimate customers had allegedly been replaced with stolen ones and number plates and VIN numbers changed, he said.

The search of the premises this week was part of an ongoing operation and Fisher said police were actively pursuing illegal operators.

Stuff