For Immediate Release: September 27, 2012
Chop Shop Operation
Durham police officers located a large chop shop operation in a warehouse at 706 Ellis Road earlier this week. One person – Samer Fakhri Othman, 35, of Green Hollows Lane in Durham – was arrested today and charged in connection with the case.
Officers discovered the warehouse after tracking a Lojack activation on a stolen vehicle on Tuesday. The Lojack activated around noon on Angier Avenue near Ellis Road. Officers tracked the Lojack to a 25,500-square-foot warehouse complex in the 700 block of Ellis Road where they found two stolen vehicles.
Investigators then obtained a search warrant for a warehouse at that location and found a large “chop shop” operation. Officers have confirmed 24 stolen vehicles at that location – from Durham, Wake County, Texas and New Jersey. They have also found four wrecker trucks and stolen auto parts from at least 50 vehicles.
North Carolina DMV inspectors and investigators from the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation.
Othman was arrested today around 8 a.m. in Selma, Virginia by the Virginia State Police. He was wanted on four counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, four counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and four counts of injury to property. Further charges are pending.
Public Information Officer
Police Department, City of Durham
505 West Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC 27701
P 919-560-4322, ext. 29195
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