Published: Sep 27, 2012 12:45 PM
Modified: Sep 27, 2012 12:47 PM
DURHAM - A radio-tracking system designed to lead police to a car when it is stolen brought Durham officers to a “chop shop” and warehouse where they found two dozen stolen vehicles, police announced Thursday.
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 the car that had activated the signal and a second stolen vehicle.
Investigators then obtained a search warrant for a warehouse there and found a large “chop shop” operation with 24 stolen vehicles from Durham, Wake County, Texas and New Jersey.
They have also found four wrecker trucks and stolen auto parts from at least 50 vehicles, police said in a news release.
One person – Samer Fakhri Othman, 35, of Green Hollows Lane in Durham – was arrested Thursday and charged in connection with the case.
North Carolina DMV inspectors and investigators from the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation. The Insurance Crime Bureau is supported by the insurance industry to combat insurance fraud and crime that leads to insurance claims.
Othman was arrested around 8 a.m. in Selma, Va., 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. Staff writer Ron Gallagher contributed to this story.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.