Lancashire Police discover illegal 'chop shop' where dozens of stolen vehicles are dismantled and sold for parts

This Mercedes Sprinter work van was discovered dismantled along with a number of other vehicles at a 'chop shop' in Blackburn on Monday, June 25
This Mercedes Sprinter work van was discovered dismantled along with a number of other vehicles at a 'chop shop' in Blackburn on Monday, June 25
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A 'chop shop' with dozens of stolen vehicle parts has been discovered after police raided an industrial unit in Lancashire.


Lancashire Police raided the premises yesterday afternoon (Monday, June 25), after intelligence led them to an industrial unit in Blackburn.

The illegal operation was exposed after officers located a stolen vehicle that had been equipped with a GPS tracker.

Police were assisted by GPS security firm CanTrack Global who operate out of Milton Keynes.

The company's in-house Investigations Unit were able to track the stolen vehicle because it had been fitted with a GPS security device.

The firm provided police with real-time information on the vehicle's whereabouts, which enabled officers to raid the unit and uncover the chop shop.

A number of recently stolen vehicles and parts have since been recovered and forensics are working to identify those involved in the criminal operation.

A Mercedes Sprinter, one of a fleet of vehicles operated by home emergency repairs business Home Serve, was found dismantled in the unit.

No arrests have been made, but Lancashire Police said "enquiries are ongoing".

Security firm CanTrack Global tweeted: "Thieves may have sophisticated technologies, but our in-house Investigations Unit are always one step ahead."

READ MORE: 'Jousting Audi' stopped in Lancashire after giant 12ft plank of wood spotted poking from boot

What is a chop shop?

In terms of motor vehicle theft, a chop shop is a location or business which disassembles stolen vehicles, primarily cars, for the purpose of selling its parts.

The term originated from the practice of building a car from two different halves by welding them together.

After the vehicle is disassembled, its parts are usually sold on the black market.