Inconspicuous garage, barn or shed behind a house- these are the chops shops of thieves. In 2014, 145 cars were stolen in Lubelskie, in Lublin itself – 56.
Car theft operation is usually prepared in the smallest details. Only amateurs allow themselves to drive off in someone else’s car and leave it near their own place of living. Professionals, and they are in majority, are concerned about their security and minimize the risk of being caught. After theft, the car goes for some time to a parking lot (sometimes even guarded) or to garage previously selected by a criminal group. Thieves leave the car there so it ‘cools down’.
The so – called carter is responsible for taking the car from the crime place to the previously selected car park or garage. Then the car is observed for a few days – in case an advanced alarm connected to the tracking system is installed inside.
‘Thieves know that the location services are gaining popularity and try to eliminate the risk of tracking through them. That is among others why they commonly use the jammers of GPS/GSM signals, on which the majority of monitoring services is based” – says Mirosław Marianowski from Gannet Guard System dealing with tracking and retrieving stolen vehicles.
After ‘cooling down’, the car goes to the so-called chop shop. It is a place, where cars are either disassembled for parts or prepared for sale, for example by changing serial numbers. The garage (chop shop) must be inconspicuous in appearance so as not to attract the attention of outsiders, including police officers.
Chop shops can be located in the housing estates of large cities, most often in one of the many adjoining garages. Sometimes, cars end up in workshops dealing with the repair of vehicles. In Lubelskie, cars end up the most often in the countryside. Various types of utility rooms perform the role of chop shops. These are wooden or brick barns, garages, and even pigsties – adds Marianowski.
Work in the chop shops is usually well organized. – Experts dealing with disassembly work individually or in teams of several people. They have professional equipment at their disposal, and these are places with good lighting, where the efficiency of work increases –- says Marianowski. That is why they are often devoid of windows so that nosy neighbours do not get a chance to see anything. In spite of it, the police owe anonymous information many successes in eliminating chops shops.