Three arrested following suspected 'chop shop' raid in Sandwell

One of the cars recovered Credit: West Midlands Police

Three men have been arrested after police raided a suspected 'chop shop' in Sandwell.

Officers found stolen cars and a number of parts suspected of being stripped from stolen vehicles at an industrial unit off Watville Road, Smethwick, on Friday (2 June).

At the site, officers found three cars which had been stolen from Yardley and Smethwick on 28 and 31 May.

Three men, aged 19, 21 and 23, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft and have been bailed with conditions while enquires continue.

What is a chop shop?

  • A chop shop is a "place stolen vehicles are taken to be dismantled and parts then sold on to unsuspecting members of the public."

  • In May, police said "the region is the worst area for selling stolen car parts outside of London" and it prompted a new team within West Midlands Police to be set up, the Birmingham Vehicle Crime Taskforce.

What are the signs of a 'chop shop'?

  • Noise coming from units late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

  • Vehicles that look out of place going in to workshops and not coming back out.

  • Large amounts of car parts being stored, sometimes in odd places such as gardens.

  • Shipping containers in unusual locations.

  • Expensive items such as engines and gearboxes outside workshops.