Alleged Chop Shop Ring Busted

Friday, Jul 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:16 PM CDT
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Four men allegedly responsible for an auto theft ring on the West Side have been charged after a four-month long investigation dubbed Operation

Four men allegedly responsible for an auto theft ring on the West Side have been charged after a four-month long investigation dubbed Operation "Pay Back," police said.

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Four men allegedly responsible for an auto theft ring on the West Side have been charged after a four-month long investigation dubbed Operation "Pay Back," police said.

The thieves used various methods to steal newer model and luxury vehicles, among others, according to a release from police News Affairs. It is estimated that during the operation, the men allegedly stole five to 10 vehicles on a weekly basis.

The vehicles were moved to a "chop shop" in the 4200 block of West Cermak Road, where various parts and components were removed from the vehicles and sold for cash, while the stolen and stripped down vehicles were sold for their scrap value, according to the statement.

Theo Poole, 33, of the 300 block of South Loomis, Tiresias Young, 32, also of the 300 block of South Loomis, and Justin Abraham, 27, of the 1200 block of North Hamlin were each charged with three felony counts of possessing a stolen motor vehicle, according to the statement.

James Safford, 45, of the 300 Block of West 104th Street, was charged with one felony count of removing a vehicle identification, the statement said.

The four appeared in bond court Thursday.

The operation was a four month investigation conducted by Harrison Area detectives and the Intelligence Section into an active auto theft ring that operated throughout the city.

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