Hazel Park auto repair owner charged with running a chop shop after man spots stolen car

HAZEL PARK – The owner of a Hazel Park auto repair business is charged with operating a chop shop after police say a stolen car was spotted being towed out of the shop by a man who recognized the vehicle.

The car, a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu, was stolen along with several other vehicles from a yard at an auto repair business in Detroit the day before.

A man from the Detroit business was in Hazel Park on Thursday when he saw the Malibu being towed out of the Parkway Auto Parts & Service shop, 23891 Dequindre, police said.

“The car looked familiar to him and matched the description of one of the vehicles stolen from his place,” Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner said. “He followed the tow truck to a scrap metal yard in Warren on Grosebeck.”

The man confronted the tow truck driver and the owner of the scrap yard.

“He had the  VIN numbers of the vehicles that had been stolen from the Detroit business with him,” Barner said. “The VIN number he had for the Malibu matched the one being towed.”

The man then drove to Hazel Park and alerted police, who went to Parkway and ended up arresting owner Christopher Morad, 25, of Shelby Township.

Morad was arraigned Saturday before Hazel Park 43rd District Magistrate Kim Wilson and released after posting $5,000 bond.

Police said they found a Jeep Liberty that had also been stolen from the Detroit auto business at the Parkway location.

Police also confiscated 10 engines and seven transmissions at Parkway and they are investigating to determine whether the parts are also stolen, Barner said.

“There were hundreds of car parts strewn everywhere,” he said. “It didn’t appear that there were any repairs going on.”

Morad is charged with one count of operating a chop shop, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He is scheduled for a preliminary examination in Hazel Park 43rd District Court at 1 p.m. Feb. 21.

via Daily Tribune

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