$2M in stolen vehicle parts recovered so far at north Edmonton chop shop: ‘Never seen anything like this’
Edmonton police officers investigating a chop shop in the city’s northeast say it’s the largest operation of its kind they’ve ever seen.
“Everybody in there was overwhelmed with what we had,” Det. Dwayne Karpo said. “We’re talking guys who have been investigators for 30 years, dealing with auto theft, and even they were taken back. They’ve never seen anything like this.
“The last few days have been hectic… The scene is huge. By far the largest chop shop that I’ve ever seen.”
Police discovered the stolen vehicle operation in the area of 121 Avenue and 76 Street on Tuesday. Since then, a steady stream of stolen vehicles and parts has made its way out of the industrial lot.
As of Thursday, police had searched about half of the site, recovering upwards of $2 million worth of stolen property.
“Anything on your vehicle that could have been parted out, was being parted out here,” Karpo said. “The parts business is very lucrative. You think, you’re paying $1,000 for a door, tires, rims. There’s big money in it.”
The operation was “very sophisticated,” according to Karpo.
“Just the organization aspect of it, very methodical where parts were placed,” he said. “This is a great example of what can happen with a stolen vehicle.
“Some of them that we’ve identified were as recent as June 2. So June 2 stolen, brought here and it’s already in parts.”
Watch below: Edmonton police are sorting through what officers describe as one of the biggest chop shops the city has ever seen. At least $2 million worth of stolen cars and parts are being hauled out of a north end lot. Fletcher Kent reports.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has expert identifiers on scene, to help determine where the vehicles came from and who owns them.
“This is one of the largest search warrants related to auto crime, to my knowledge, in Edmonton’s history and possibly in Alberta’s history. It’s a huge file,” said Dan Service, western Canadian director of investigative services for IBC.
“There are many, many files here related to stolen autos. Most of those have been paid out, to my knowledge, so we’ll be doing what we can to get that product back to the insurance company.”
Members of the RCMP have also been brought in to help with the investigation. Police said they will likely be on site for another week.
Allen McKay, 53, is charged with unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, possession of property for the purposes of trafficking and altering or removing VIN.
Chrystal Lee McKay, 36, is charged with possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of property for the purpose of trafficking and altering or removing VIN.
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