What is a chop shop?
A place criminals sell stolen cars to. Sometimes the cars are stolen to order, depending on what vehicle the chop shop wants to ‘repair’. If the parts aren’t used to ‘repair’ an existing vehicle, the serial numbers are often removed and the parts sold on websites to unwitting buyers.
Chop shops are dangerous and provide a thriving market for car thieves. Stolen cars are sold on to these chop shops where they are quickly stripped for parts. Often, these parts are then used to repair a car that’s been written off by an insurance company and bought by the chop shop as salvage.
The people putting these cars back together often have NO qualifications and will sell the botched-together vehicles on legitimate websites, meaning not only could the next car you buy be made from stolen parts, it could also be extremely dangerous.
Chop shops are putting lives at risk, creating a demand for stolen cars, and damaging the reputation of legitimate salvage yards. Tell us what you know and SHOP A CHOP SHOP.
What are the signs of a chop shop?
There are many legitimate salvage yards operating in the West Midlands, but we know there are also chop shops out there. These can be set up in industrial units, garage/mechanic premises or even in someone’s back garden. Here’s some signs that might identify a chop shop:
- Suspicious activity around industrial units, often at unusual times of the day, or night
- Noise coming from buildings out of hours
- Vehicles that look out of place going into workshops or locations and not coming back out
- Large amounts of car parts being stored, sometimes in odd places such as gardens
- Shipping containers in unusual locations
- Items stored that are clearly expensive, such as engines and gearboxes, outside and out of place
- Items for sale via on-line auction sites from the same seller, often in large quantities of the same item or similar
I think a chop shop is operating near me, what should I do?
If you suspect that a chop shop is operating near you, or recognise some of the signs please report it.
You can do this using our Live Chat facility which can be accessed by clicking the button on the right of the screen. You can see our Live Chat opening hours here. Alternatively you can call us on 101 or by ringing Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- For more information about Chop Shops, download this leaflet.