Chop Shop Uncovered by CHP Investigators, 2 Stolen Acura Integras Recovered, Suspect Arrested

  • August 30, 2012
  • recovery stories

On July 31, 2012, the owner of an Acura Integra contacted the Anaheim Police Department to report his vehicle stolen. Anaheim Police verified the theft and entered the Acura’s information into the state and federal crime computers, which automatically activated the LoJack transponder concealed in the vehicle.

A short while later, an investigator from the California Highway Patrol ISU Los Angeles was traveling westbound on the I-10 Freeway when he picked up the silent LoJack signal from the stolen Acura on his portable LoJack Police Tracking Computer. Following the audible and directional signal from the LoJack computer, the investigator tracked the signal to the 3800 block of Whiteside Street in the city of Los Angeles, where he observed a black Acura Integra parked at the end of a common driveway. He checked the plate and at that time, it appeared to be valid. However, after backup arrived, the investigators confirmed that the signal was actually coming from a detached garage.

As the investigators were inspecting the property, they observed a male exit one of the apartments and walk toward them, asking if they were at the location regarding a black Acura inside the garage. After obtaining consent to search, they unlocked the garage; inside, they found the stolen Acura, and an Acura engine that was later identified as being stolen from Austin, Texas in 2009. As the investigation continued, the investigators obtained permission to investigate the first Acura seen in the driveway. They determined that that Acura was VIN-switched, and stolen from Inglewood, California on February 20, 2012.

The suspect was placed under arrest and transported to the Los Angeles County Jail for booking. The investigator presented the case to the LA DDA and filed one count of Operating a Chop Shop and two counts of Receiving Stolen Property. The value of the recovery was estimated at $10,000.

The LoJack Vehicle Recovery System was installed in the Acura Integra at Auto Land in June of 1994.