Chop Shop Uncovered After Auto Theft From Area Chili’s

Local News

Memphis Police uncovered a Mid-South chop shop after a family had their SUV stolen from the Chili’s Restaurant near Wolfchase in Bartlett.

Shaun Redman told officers his silver 2007 Chevy trailblazer was stolen while he was inside the restaurant.

“We were in there for dinner after a baseball game,” Redman told Local 24. “After it happened we watched the surveillance video from the restaurant and saw it took the suspects less than three minutes to get away with the truck.”

Redman says he got the truck back later that night. Thanks to quick thinking, he and police were able to track his truck to a South Memphis property using the truck’s GPS.

Police found the vehicle in the 5700 block of Old Highway 78. According to a court affidavit, investigators also found several vehicles, covered engines, transmissions, trailers and other vehicle parts scattered throughout the location.

“My immediate thought was this is a chop shop,” said Redman. “You could really tell they strip cars here because there were parts laying around everywhere. The truck was parked on top of electric fans. There were driveshafts and a couple other pieces. It just looks like they just take what they want.”

On October 2, officers returned to the south Memphis location and contacted the business owner, Kelsey Jones. Police were given verbal and written consent to check the property.

Upon further investigation police saw several vehicles that had transmissions and motors removed and on the ground. Several more vehicle were found stripped of their property.

According to the court affidavit, VIN numbers were run on a white 2009 Buick Enclave, a silver 2007 Chevy Silverado 1500, and a red 1998 Chevy Silverado 1500. All came back stolen.

Kelsey Jones was placed under arrest and taken to the Ridgeway station for questioning.

Jones reportedly told MPD he ordered that the vehicles were brought to him, so they could be used for spare parts. He reportedly paid $500 for one pickup truck.

He is in jail on $20,000 bond, charged with four counts of theft of property and violation of chop shop law.

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