A ‘chop shop’ investigation led officers from multiple police units to flood a rural South Surrey property this week.
Two men, aged 34 and 43, were arrested in connection with the operation, located in the 2300-block of 176 Street, which police say was being used to dismantle stolen pickup trucks.
“Most vehicles stolen in B.C. are recovered so it is unusual to find an operation like this where stolen vehicles are being dismantled and reassembled to appear as a legitimate vehicle,” Insp. Peter Jadis of the Mounties’ Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team said.
The investigation came to the public’s attention on Tuesday afternoon, when officers with IMPACT, Surrey’s RCMP Auto Crime Target Team, Lower Mainland District Police Dog Services, LMD Integrated Forensic Identification Services, the Urban Patrol Helicopter and ICBC’s Special Investigation Unit converged on the property to execute a search warrant. They blocked off a portion of one lane just south of 24 Avenue and, just after 2 p.m., cordoned off the area with yellow police tape.
Vehicles associated with IMPACT’s Bait Car program could be seen, as well as numerous uniformed and plainclothes officers. One passerby told Peace Arch News they also saw the Mounties’ tactical armoured vehicle on-site.
The highway remained open to traffic, however, there were minor disruptions as motorists maneuvered around the closure and slowed to see what was going on.
At the time, police said only that the activity was related to a property-crime investigation.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, Jadis noted the arrests of the two unidentified men were made separately – one in Surrey and one in Langley – and that charges are pending against a number of individuals related to the property.