WEST BOUNTIFUL — Police say they have busted a chop shop ring for insurance fraud and selling parts from stolen vehicles out of storage unit sites in West Bountiful and West Jordan.
The 10-month investigation came to a finale this week when officers of the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division raided two shops and recovered 20 vehicles.
"This was a big operation," said Charlie Roberts, spokesman for the Utah State Tax Commission.
Besides selling parts off high-performance street-racing cars and high-end motorcycles, suspects also faked the theft of two vehicles to claim they were stolen and gain insurance money, Roberts said.
"What they do is race the cars and burn the engine, and then when they're worth nothing, arrange for the ring to steal the cars," he said.
Of the vehicles recovered, 11 were cars, six were motorcycles, one was an all-terrain vehicle and one was a front-end loader for large equipment. All had been stuffed into the storage sites to sell online or to stores, police said.
Investigators say they have identified six people suspected of operating the chop shop ring.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division tip line at 801-297-2600.
— Lana Groves