Tampa police say auto business has been working as a chop shop for stolen cars

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa police believe they have busted a major chop shop operation and are working to identify stolen cars, trucks, ATV’s and even engines and other car parts seized at the business.

Police received a tip that there was illegal activity going on at Express Auto Repair at 3222 North 40th Street.

When officers arrived, no one inside the business would admit they were an employee and all claimed to be customers.

Police have now seized more than 80 vehicles from the business along with ATV’s, engine parts and even a high end commercial lawn mower.

“Everything in here is part of the investigation. It’s considered a chop shop, so everything in here now has to be gone through to determine the owner, if it’s stolen or not and get it back,” said Eddy Durkin with the Tampa Police Department.

Durkin said one of the cars they seized was recently involved in an armed car jacking and was also reported stolen.

Durkin said officers will now work to determine the true ownership of each vehicle seized from the business.

Detectives are also working to identify the owner of the store.

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