Local

Clovis man's son ran chop shop at his business

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tucked away behind his legitimate business, a Clovis man tells Action News police uncovered his son's own small business -- an illegal chop shop.

Clovis Police haven't arrested anyone yet. They're still investigating the discovery of two cars and dozens of auto parts.

The owner, Bill Clark, said he was as surprised as anybody when auto theft investigators wanted to check his property.

What they found included a former show car that's now pretty close to being junk, and the owner is speaking out, only to Action News.

His Nissan 300 ZX looks well worn and weather beaten, but just six months ago, it looked like a lot different -- a show car with a proud owner.

"There are 138 like this left in the United States," said its owner, who wanted to be identified only as Shaun. "The hundreds of hours I spent in this car are priceless. You can't pay me back for those."

Shaun showed us the damage to the car he spent thousands to soup up. The windshield wipers are gone, the front bumper is ripped in half -- even the spare tire is gone, with damage to the trunk. "It looks like they tried to jack it up from the bottom and it collapsed that metal there," he said.

Shaun got one of the first calls after Clovis Police and an auto theft task force searched this warehouse and found dozens of car parts and two cars, including Shaun's.

Behind the first rollup door is Clark's Fleet Maintenance -- a legitimate vehicle maintenance business. But Shaun saw behind a closed door, into a fire alley. "You go to a second row of rollup doors and you just see bins and torn apart engines and seats and dashboards and stereo systems," he said.

Bill Clark didn't want to talk on camera, but he told Action News his son was storing the parts in the fire alley and he was guilty of not asking enough questions.

Clark said he noticed the 300 ZX there, but he thought it was just a project for his son and some friends.

Clark said police turned his business inside out and found nothing unusual, except in the alley. But investigators aren't done with the case yet. They say there's still more work to be done before they wrap it up and make arrests.

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Tags:
crimetracker, auto, clovis, fresno county, clovis police department, local, corin hoggard
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