'Ringleader' arrested in Detroit chop shop operation

'Ringleader' arrested in Detroit chop shop operation

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DETROIT (WJBK) - Police say they have a ringleader in custody of a suspected chop shop operation in Detroit. Investigators say this operation may be responsible for the majority of tire thefts in the city.

Sgt. Robert Wellman with Commercial Auto Theft says the suspects are using a method called "push theft" and target vehicles with a chrome wheel.

"They break the window. They break the shifter. They use a push car. They push it a couple blocks away at which point they take the wheels and tires off, load it into the back of a minivan and go on to the next car," he explains.

Authorities say the group hit up nine vehicles overnight. Wednesday, they executed a search warrant and say they arrested the operation's ringleader while he was in bed sleeping.

Authorities say they have been watching the group for a while and have obtained various surveillance video.
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