Parts demand sees chop shop increase

Tracker Network is urging motorists to be extra vigilant when it comes to protecting their cars from thieves as the demand for parts intensifies.

Police across the country are continuing the fight against an increase in ‘chop shops’ – buildings which house stolen vehicles for stripping down so their expensive parts can be sold on, and organised criminals are establishing ‘chop shops’ as quick as the police are closing them down.

Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said: “The lack of parts for new car manufacturing is impacting delivery wait times for eager car buyers, which in turn has resulted in a surge of sales in the second-hand car market. This has created a knock-on effect with the availability and price of car parts for used cars, creating an opportunity for thieves. Criminals are working 24/7 to steal cars for their parts to then sell-on to criminal networks, not only in the UK but also in Europe, Middle East and Africa.”

Police in Greater Manchester have reported that gangs are buying written-off high-powered cars for minimal costs, which are then reconditioned using parts stolen from other vehicles. To get a piece of the action, it appears thieves are targeting specific makes and models, including Audi and Volkswagen, before driving them to chop shops where they are dismantled.

Wain said: “Cars that are stolen to be taken to ‘chop shops’ are often first left parked in suburban roads by thieves for up to four days, who wait to see if the vehicle is being tracked by police. Once they are confident they can move the car on, it is taken to a chop shop where its identity is changed, and its high-value parts removed for re-sale.”