According to sources, a West Omaha business owner and his employee both stand accused of operating a chop shop and dealing in stolen parts. The 61-year-old business owner allegedly employed another man for help with the scheme in which vehicles were stolen and disassembled.
Upon taking the vehicles apart, the men reportedly used the stolen parts to upgrade salvaged vehicles for sale. Upon their investigation, officers located parts traced to 13 different stolen vehicles from Council Bluffs and Omaha. Officers found parts traced to seven stolen vehicles at the business owner’s two homes. After searching the homes, officers were then led to a storage unit, where they stated that they recovered parts from two more vehicles that had been reported stolen.
Finally, officers found four stolen vehicles in varying states of being disassembled at another location near 28th and B Streets, where investigators believe the chop shop was operated. Both men were arrested. While the 61-year-old business owner remains in custody pending resolution of his charges, his employee was able to post bond and is currently out of custody at this time, according to authorities.
Theft allegations can be charged as more serious offenses in the event that the crimes are the result of a conspiracy. People who are charged as a co-conspirator in a criminal enterprise may face charges that are just as serious as the others if their actions assisted the furtherance of the crime. When multiple defendants are accused in such a case, a common tactic law enforcement officers will sometimes use is to attempt to pit one defendant against another. By doing so, officers may be able to get more evidence to use against them at trial. It is often a good idea upon arrest to assert the right to remain silent and to request a criminal defense attorney.
Source: WOWT, “Update: Second arrest in car theft ring case”, Joe Chiodo, December 31, 2014