Provincial police say they have shut down an alleged chop shop operation in southwestern Ontario.
LAKESHORE, ONT.—Provincial police say they have shut down an alleged chop shop operation in southwestern Ontario.
Five people have been arrested and more than 300 charges laid after police closed down A and L Auto Recyclers in the town of Lakeshore.
Police allege they found various auto parts from dozens of stolen vehicles following a two-month investigation.
Const. Janet Hayes says charges laid include theft over $5,000, possession and fraudulent concealment.
Two of the five people charged are owners and all will appear in court May 1.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for a sixth person.
“This is a large scale chop shop operating under the disguise of a legitimate business,” alleged Hayes.
“The investigation resulted in a successful recovery of various auto parts originating from 35 confirmed stolen vehicles,” she said.
Charged are John Lanoue, 49 and Jeffrey Lanoue, 43, both of Lakeshore, and Sandro Perrarelli, 45, Giorgio Loiacona, 39, and Terry Mauldin, 24, who are from Windsor.
However Pat Ducharme, the lawyer representing the owners of the business, said his clients weren’t aware of any stolen parts at the shop.
“The allegations are that some stolen auto parts were found on the premises,” Ducharme told radio station CKLW. “I don’t know if that is true or not, there is a question whether the owner of the business knew there were stolen auto parts.”
Ducharme emphasized that it’s up to the court to decide guilt and as of now, his clients are innocent.