West Midlands Police raid illegal 'chop shop' for stolen cars and vehicle parts

  • Watch as West Midlands Police raid an abandoned chop shop in Birmingham

High-value stolen cars and parts of vehicles have been found at an illegal chop shop in Birmingham following a police raid.

A special vehicle crime task force from West Midlands Police raided the garage in Balsall Heath after receiving a tipoff that an industrial unit was being used to store and break down stolen cars.

Police say car thefts are on the rise, with many being taken to illegal "chop shops" - a place where stolen vehicles are dismantled and parts collected.

Inside the illegal shops, batteries, engines, and steering wheels are stripped from cars ready to be sold for cash.

Since September, the special task force has made over 100 arrests, however police say they're dealing with increasingly sophisticated criminals who are constantly on the move.

Detective Superintendent Jim Monro from West Midlands Police has been tasked with stopping illegal chop shops. He says pressures abroad are increasing demand for car parts at home which is causing traders to sell more quickly.

Speaking to ITV News Central he said: "Dozens of vehicles may have gone through here.

"We can already see a setup in the back where parts are starting to be stored and clearly those parts will be sold on for good profit.

"The issue with the economy at the moment, where we're seeing lots of financial issues and criminals are making money off the back of selling parts through various outlets."

Police have also seen an increase in keyless cars being subject to theft and ending up in chop shops.