Chop shop bust nets big cache of stolen parts - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Chop shop bust nets big cache of stolen parts

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Police uncover a stash of stolen parts from the Nissan plant at a Jackson business.

The items were found at an auto body shop on Gault Street, just off Highway 80.

Authorities said a majority of the merchandise came from the Nissan Plant in Canton.

Wednesday afternoon Nissan officials oversaw the recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen auto parts and components following a morning raid at Precious Auto Body Restoration.

An 18 wheeler and several vans and trucks from the Nissan facility were filled with stolen items, including the large green metal containers used to store the merchandise at the Canton plant.

"All those items still had Nissan tracking numbers on them," said Sgt. L.C. Russell with J.P.D.'s Auto Theft Division.

Officers raided the business acting on tips from residents in the area.

"We did surveillance on the property, came back out here today, did a chop shop inspection and from that inspection it revealed that there were items out here taken from different areas. Most items we discovered came from the Nissan plant," said Sgt. Russell.

Crates full of Nissan parts and components were found scattered throughout the building and on the grounds of the property.

Investigators and Nissan officials estimate the cost at approximately half a million dollars.

The stolen merchandise included catalytic converters, airbags, wire harnesses, batteries and headlight assemblies.

Police said several stolen vehicles were also found on the property.

"The owner Eric Brown, he's 48 years of age. He was arrested and charged with approximately three or four counts of receiving and in possession of stolen property and also a misdemeanor charge of marijuana," said J.P.D. Officer Colendula Green.

Brown also faces charges of operating a chop shop and auto theft.

Investigators would not confirm if the thefts were an inside job at Nissan plant but said more arrests are expected.

"Nissan has been made aware that a significant amount of automotive parts were recovered today as part of a bust at an illegal chop shop operation in Jackson," said Nissan North America Inc. Corporate Communications Manager Steve Parrett. "We are cooperating fully with the Jackson Police Department, which is to be commended for their efforts. Nissan is supporting the investigation efforts and will continue to ensure the highest levels of security throughout our operations."

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