Clovis News

Suspected chop shop searched

Officers with a multi-agency vehicle theft task force arrested four men and were seeking a fifth man today on suspicion of operating a chop shop out of an industrial area in the 4900 block of East Lansing Way.

One of those arrested is a 22-year-old Clovis man who owns and operates Automotive Speed Performance.

During a search, investigators found five stolen engines, several stolen transmissions and two loaded handguns at the business. The owner's home also was searched.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Leonard Sherman with the task force said late 1990s model Honda and Acura cars were targeted for the engine technology, which may have been used to modify cars for street racing. Officials will not seek charges related to street racing, Sherman said.

The investigation began when task-force officers got information that several cars that had been stolen and later recovered had been worked on at the business. The task force includes the CHP, Fresno police and county sheriff, the state Department of Motor Vehicles and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.