Twenty-five stolen engines valued at $75,000 were recovered during a raid at Economy Transmission and Mufflers in Victorville, CA. The shop owner said the engines were left in a locked area of the shop by the previous owner who had recently sold the shop.
Below is the article as it appeared on the Daily Press website.
$75,000 in stolen engines recovered
May 25, 2010 1:23 PM
By Beatriz Valenzuela
VICTORVILLE After a month-long investigation, detectives recovered 25 stolen vehicle engines valued at about $75,000 at a local auto shop, authorities said.
With information from officials in Riverside, investigators from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station and the Auto Theft Task Force raided Economy Transmission and Mufflers on Seventh Street between Mojave Drive and Tracy Street on Monday evening, officials said.
Authorities learned a new owner had recently purchased the property and he told officials the previous owner said he had left some personal items in a locked area of the business.
The new owner allowed detectives into the locked area and there the stolen engines were found, according to Karen Hunt, spokeswoman for the Victorville station.
The previous owner, who reportedly lives in Riverside, was not located during the investigation.
In April, members of the Riverside task force found two dozen stolen engines at a shop owned by the same man who once owned Economy Transmission and Mufflers, authorities said.
With help from local law enforcement agencies, they learned about the shop in Victorville.
The value of the engines alone is estimated at about $75,000, SANCATT detectives said, but the total value including the entire stolen vehicle could be as high as $500,000.
It appears the man had been running full-time chop shop operations out of his legitimate auto shops, SANCATT authorities stated.
Officials ask anyone who may have had work done at the repair shop and believes they may have received stolen parts, or anyone with additional information on the case, to contact SANCATT at (909) 388-4898, the Victorville station at (760) 241-2911 or WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.
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