FIVE people were arrested over the weekend when police discovered a ‘chop shop’ in Redditch.
Officers from the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) were on patrol when they saw two men loading items from a van on the Moons Moat Industrial Estate, Unit 12, Walker Road.
When the police approached them they returned to the unit and slammed the door shut.
A member of the public from the neighbouring unit saw the men running out of the back of the building.
Officers from Worcestershire Operational Patrol Unit (OPU) located a van minutes later pulling off the estate with three men sat in the front.
The vehicle initially failed to stop but then pulled over.
Two men – sweating and out of breath – were found in the back of the van, matching the description given by the SNT officers.
All five were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.
In the unit there is evidence of one car being stripped out but lots of other vehicle parts were also located.
The five have all been bailed pending further enquiries.
Insp Field from Redditch Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “This shows our commitment to reduce burglary and car crime locally.
“This just shows that the local officers with local knowledge are actively targeting key areas by working alongside our existing teams, such as traffic officers and other specialist departments.
“With the help of the public we can continue to tackle car crime and shut down chop shops.
“Intelligence we receive can be crucial, so by letting us know of suspicious activity or those involved we can step in and take action as is show with the five recent arrests.”
Chop shops – often found on industrial units – are places where stolen cars are taken to be dismantled for parts, often to order.
The crime has been on the increase in recent years and is being actively targeted by West Mercia Police and neighbouring forces, including West Midlands Police.