• Police raid nabs chop shop with over half-a-million dollars worth of stolen Camaros and Corvettes.
  • 5 accused of running the shop and selling stolen parts.
  • Late-model sports cars targeted, some being dismantled on-site.

The Valley Division of the California Highway Patrol announced a huge bust this month, after a team of police agencies raided an alleged chop shop in the San Joaquin Valley. In their search, police found 12 stolen vehicles, including 10 Chevrolet Camaros and two Corvettes.

The San Joaquin County Auto Theft Task Force, made up of several allied agencies in the area, estimated that the vehicles amounted to $600,000 in losses for the victims of these thefts. When they were discovered, the Chevrolets were in the process of being dismantled, police say.

The raid was part of an investigation of thefts involving “high-end American-made sport cars,” through which police were led to the suspected chop shop in Banta, a small town of around 15,000 people, reports Yahoo. The cars were found among a “large amount” of stolen vehicle parts and a stolen engine.

Read: Wrong-Way Driver “Deliberately” Crashes Into Californian Police Car

Photos shared by the CHP show that the vehicles in question were late model sports car, not classics. The police agency shared two photos of seventh-generation Corvettes, as well as what appears to be a sixth-generation Camaro, whose rear bumper, lights, and trunk were all removed.

 Californian Chop Shop Busted With $600,000 In Stolen Corvettes, Camaros

In all, five people were arrested in connection with this suspected chop shop. During a March 11 raid, two men, identified as James Phelan and Harley Davidson, were taken into custody and accused of operating a chop shop.

Later that same day, Hamdy Naim Jamali was arrested. Police say he was selling parts and was in possession of a key fobbing device when they stopped him. A day later, Lloyd Thomas Bernhard was arrested on similar charges, and police say he had about “100 pills believed to be fentanyl” on his person.

Finally, Stephanie Celeste Tejada Otera was later arrested and charged in connection with the case. All five were arraigned on Friday, March 15, on charges related to auto theft.

Photos CHP Valley Division