Wellington 'chop shop' busted

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 16:25 10/07/2014
Brooklyn chop shop

CHOPPED?: One of the vehicles found at an alleged chop shop in Brooklyn, Wellington.

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Police have arrested six young men in relation to car-theft activities after an alleged "chop shop" was found in a Wellington suburb.

An investigation by Wellington police has uncovered what they believe to be a "chop shop" - a site where stolen vehicles are butchered for parts and reassembled - at a residential Brooklyn address.

Police said 11 vehicles in varying states of dismantlement had been recovered - including four from the Brooklyn property.

The investigation was sparked after police noticed a trend in certain models of cars repeatedly showing up in stolen vehicle reports - particularly Honda Accords, Detective Sergeant Scott Dunn, of the Wellington tactical crime unit, said.

"Some dedicated work has fairly quickly uncovered this ring, and as a result of proactive police work coupled with the execution of search warrants in the Wellington area, police located a number of stolen vehicles and miscellaneous vehicle parts in what can only be described as a classic chop shop."

Five men aged between 18 and 20 were arrested yesterday. They face more than 50 charges between them, including participating in an organised criminal group.

Police suspect they are linked to a significant amount of vehicle-related offending in the Wellington region.

"We expect this to show a noticeable dent in the stolen vehicle reports we are receiving," Dunn said.

A sixth man was also arrested this morning on vehicle-theft charges.

However, police said he would not face the more serious charge of participating in an organised criminal group.

All six are expected to appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow.

Dunn warned people buying used car parts that if the deal seemed "too good to be true" - it probably was - and anyone with suspicions should call police.

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- The Dominion Post

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