Nine San Jose chop shops are on the block.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the rogue auto repair shops—all located in a specific area between Interstate 880 and Oakland Road—for allegedly taking apart vehicles without a license.
Chop shops are illegal garages and auto body and repair joints that strip a car for its parts. Owners of the auto repair shops under prosecution could face fines and jail times if convicted of the misdemeanors.
“Unlicensed chop shops are a nuisance to the community,” Deputy DA Garner Morris said in a news release about the operation. “Not only do they pose a threat to our environment and sell defective auto parts to unsuspecting consumers, they deprive our economy of tax revenue and put their employees at risk by not providing proper worker’s compensation insurance. It is important to shut down illegal chop shops.”
Permits are required to dismantle a vehicle, partly for environmental and safety reasons. Stripped down vehicles and their individual parts pose a major environmental health hazard if not disposed of properly.
The State Vehicle Dismantler Industry Strike Team, a multi-agency collaboration created by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to investigate unlicensed vehicle dismantlers, conducted the operation and cited the nine auto repair shops for allegedly taking apart vehicles illegally.