Chop Shop With Nearly 3 Dozen Disassembled Vehicles Found in Dallas; 1 Arrested

Police announce arrest after finding 32 vehicles but have not yet confirmed what charges the man faces


One person is under arrest after Dallas police found nearly three dozen disassembled stolen vehicles at a chop shop adjacent to an elementary school Thursday night.

According to the Dallas Police Department, officers with the Auto Theft Task Force were dispatched to the 800 block of J.J. Lemmon Road at approximately 10 p.m. after a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter tracked a stolen vehicle to the location.

Dallas police said a DPS helicopter was tracking a low jack signal coming from a Cadillac when they spotted a white Chevy pickup with stripped parts in the bed leaving the property. Several disabled vehicles were also seen on the property. The DPS helicopter told Dallas police what they'd found and followed the pickup north into the south Dallas area.

A short time later, the driver of the pickup stopped at a Shell gas station at Linfield Road and Interstate 45 and two people were taken into custody, police said. Their identities have not been released and police have not yet said what charges they are expected to face.

Meanwhile, Dallas police officers followed up on the DPS tip and searched a 120-acre tract of wooded land to the south of Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary School. It was there they found 32 disassembled stolen vehicles and what appeared to be a chop shop -- a place where stolen vehicles are taken apart so that they can be sold in pieces.

On Friday afternoon, Dallas police said they arrested 28-year-old Claudio Morales Diaz, but they did not say if he was one of the two taken into custody at the gas station. It's also not clear what charges Diaz faces or if he's obtained an attorney.

Dallas police said the Hutchins Police Department, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, DPS 101, and Dallas Police Air 1 assisted in the investigation.

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