Authorities were lead to scrap yard after arresting a man they say was in possession of a stolen vehicle and trailer on Thursday. Emily Florez reports.
Piece by piece, authorities on Friday said they found what were once trailers and a boat in a south side scrap metal market.
The pieces were found at Englewood Used Auto Parts, at 620 W. 59th St., during the execution of a search warrant. Authorities were lead there following the arrest a day earlier of 46-year-old Eddie Watson.
Watson, authorities said, was driving a stolen vehicle that was towing a stolen trailer. Police believe he was headed to the scrap yard when he was arrested after initially refusing to pull over.
"What we're seeing is there's a dollar value on scrap. Scrap metal is a commodity just like any other commodity," said police Cmdr. Eugene Roy. "The price fluctuates depending on supply and demand. Right now it's going for anywhere from $200 to $250 a ton."
Police say criminals are no longer just disassembling vehicles and selling each part. They've moved to a much faster process: simply shredding the metal to pieces and selling it in large slabs.
The same thing happened a little more than a month ago when police found eight stolen buses shredding in a scrap yard.
Authorities urge residents to lock up their belongings as best as possible to prevent becoming the next victim of metal thieves.
"When you see something that rubs you the wrong way ... call 911," said Roy.
Watson, of the 1200 block of West Flourney Street, was charged with felony aggravated possession of a stolen motor vehicle and misdemeanor fleeing and eluding. He was also cited for blowing a stop sign, not having a driver's license, striking fixtures and damage to public property.