Edmonton, Alberta -- September 22, 2014 -- Alberta RCMP have recovered a substantial collection of stolen property buried underground at a Parkland County "chop shop."
|RCMP uncovered an underground 'chop chop' on Sept. 11. - Hand out photo|
The illegal operation involves the disassembly of poached vehicles with the intention to sell separate auto parts.
Following surveillance of the suspected area, police conducted a Sept. 11 search of the property, situated along Highway 16 between Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, discovering a bevy of vehicles, parts, equipment trailers and all-terrain vehicles, as reported by the Edmonton Sun.
In addition to the excavated vehicles, the RCMP also seized the neurotoxin methamphetamine, as well as ammunition, a crossbow and counterfeit money.
The accused, Sean Michael Harkins, 43, known to RCMP, was arrested and charged with eight counts of possession of stolen property under $5, 000, possession of a controlled substance and failure to cooperate with authorities.
According to the Spruce Grove Examiner, Harkins was released on cash bail on Sept. 17, and will appear in court on Oct. 15.
Harkins holds a criminal record of over 19 convictions, many of which are property related offences.
Significant raid by Innisfail RCMP
As reported by the Innisfail Province, in late August, police targeted another suspected â€˜chop shopâ€™â€”subject to numerous search warrants in the last three yearsâ€”located in Red Deer County, east of Innisfail.
RCMP, along with local police dog services, combed the rural South Pine Lake Road property on the morning of August 23. Retrieved items included five stolen vehicles:
- â€¨2012 Ford F-350 diesel pickup truck with the engine and drive-train removed
- 2007 Ford F-350 diesel pickup truck with the engine and drive-train removed
- 2013 Chevrolet 3500 pick up truck, undamaged
- 2008 Ski-Doo mountain snowmobile
- 27-foot Sunset travel trailer
Authorities also recovered a loaded .22-calibre rifle fitted with a homemade silencer. The weapon is currently prohibited in Canada.
Andrew Montague, 30, and Kris Rowe, 37, were apprehended by police and have been charged based on various Criminal Code violations, notably possession of stolen property exceeding $5, 000.
The court date for both Pine Lake-area men was set for earlier this month, while the investigation is ongoing.