Men arrested after discovery of illegal “chop shop” on Northamptonshire farm

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Two men have been arrested after a tip-off from a member of the public led to the discovery of an illegal car breaking operation on a Northamptonshire farm.

Officers were alerted to a vehicle reported as stolen being towed on a trailer in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire on Wednesday, May 3.

Activation of a tracking device on the vehicle allowed it to be traced to an address in the Daventry district.

A search revealed four stolen vehicles, as well as a large quantity of other items which are believed to be stolen, including four trailers.

Sergeant Sam Dobbs, who is leading the operation for Northamptonshire Police, said: “What officers have found is what we call a chop shop, where high value vehicles are being dismantled, presumably for parts, and that’s part of an ongoing investigation.

“What we have here are two vehicles stolen from the Leicestershire area, one from the Hull area and one from the London area.”

Searches of the farmhouse and farm buildings are ongoing with 20 officers examining the premises.

Officers from Northamptonshire and Leicestershire Police are in attendance, supported by Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Also involved were representatives from Daventry District Environmental Health, Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards and the RSPCA, which was called to ensure the welfare of a number of animals on the premises.

Sergeant Dobbs praised the vigilance of the caller who reported their sighting of the vehicle trailer.

He said: “We are the thin blue line in the rural areas because the rural areas are safe places to live. We put out messages to the public about the kind of things we want them to tell us.

“One of the things that we’ve said we want to know about is if they see plant, tractors, diggers or high value vehicles being towed around the area on trailers. That’s exactly what was reported to us yesterday and that’s what started off this job.”

He added: “One of the messages we need to get out is this is happening under our noses in a very quiet part of rural England. It can happen here, it can happen everywhere.

“What prevents it happening is the vigilance and support of the members of the rural community such as we have had this time.”

One man aged 35 from Crick and another aged 72 of East Haddon were arrested on suspicion of the theft of motor vehicles. Both remain in custody in Leicestershire. Further arrests are expected to be made today.

For help and advice on rural crime prevention visit www.northants.police.uk/information/crime-prevention

To report an incident call 101. In an emergency always call 999.