Detectives arrested the owner of an auto body shop Monday morning after they found evidence of stolen trucks and parts, police said.
The arrest was made after a pair of detectives dropped in for a routine check at Nissan and Toyota Used Parts, a small body shop at 11233 Tuxford St., and saw some workers cutting a brand new Toyota pickup in half, according to Det. Bob Graybill of the Los Angeles Police Department.
When the detectives asked the shop's owner, identified as Mohsen Nejad, 37, of Reseda, why his workers were chopping up a new, undamaged vehicle, Nejad declined to answer and asked for a lawyer, Graybill said.
Detectives determined that the pickup had been reported stolen Sunday night from the northwest San Fernando Valley. They also found evidence of a second stolen truck and six other chopped-up trucks that had no proof of sale, Graybill said.
"This is not your typical backyard chop shop," said Graybill, a lead detective on the Valleywide auto theft task force. "This is a major operation. Who knows how many stolen trucks have been taken there."
Nejad was booked on suspicion of owning and operating a chop shop and remained in custody Monday afternoon.