Cops: Atlanta ‘chop shop’ bust finds stolen vehicles, including pricey Mercedes

Atlanta police recovered six stolen cars and 12 stolen engines from an automotive repair shop.

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Credit: Atlanta Police Department

Atlanta police recovered six stolen cars and 12 stolen engines from an automotive repair shop.

A car repair shop owner is facing four counts of theft after police recovered a dozen stolen engines and several stolen cars at his Atlanta business, according to authorities.

A North Carolina resident called Atlanta police Aug. 19 to report that he saw his car, which had been missing since April, for sale on social media at an automotive repair shop called College Park Customs, police said Friday in a Facebook post.

When officers found the vehicle at the shop, they assumed it wasn’t the same stolen car because the VIN didn’t match. However, a further inspection found that the VIN was fraudulent and the vehicle was actually stolen, the post said.

Officers said when they continued searching the “chop shop” in the 1000 block of Ridge Avenue, they located four stolen engines, as well as a 2016 Mercedes Maybach that had a false VIN. The price for a new Maybach can start at $173,000. According to the post, the Maybach at the store was stolen from Douglas County on Aug. 25.

After launching an in-depth investigation into the location, officers recovered 12 stolen engines and six stolen vehicles, the post said. One of the cars was stolen 17 years ago.

“It appears this location was altering VINs on stolen vehicles, allowing the vehicle to be titled under the false VIN and eventually sold,” according to the post. “It also appears the location was obtaining stolen General Motors LS motors to place in other vehicles.”

On Sept. 25, officers obtained arrest warrants for the shop’s owner, Todderick Ponder, for “owning, operating or conducting a chop shop, possession of a vehicle with an altered VIN, and four counts of theft by receiving stolen property,” police said.

“Atlanta is a city full of automotive enthusiasts, many of whom invest a significant amount of time and money into their vehicles. To have a criminal enterprise focused on stealing those sought-after vehicles and parts from the owners who work so hard for them is unacceptable," the post said.

The Atlanta Police Department's Auto Crimes Enforcement Unit Find Stolen Vehicles and Parts at Chop Shop-Arrest...

Posted by City of Atlanta Police Department on Friday, October 30, 2020

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