Auto Theft Leaves Police Believing Chop Shop in Pasco
Last Friday, Pasco Police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle, a very popular 1995 Honda Civic, to this day still one of the top ten most stolen cars in America. The car is similar to the one pictured here.
Police say the owner parked it near the Moneytree in the Albertson's parking lot near Court and 20th. He had removed the battery, had a steering lock and no keys left inside, and exterior locked. It was there at 1AM, but by 8AM was gone.
Police say area security cameras were offline since the previous afternoon (they realize that's suspicious) so no video evidence. Short skid marks in the parking stall indicate it was most likely dragged onto a flatbed or some sort of trailer. The Police and Albertsons did not have it towed. Police are looking into towing companies who may have been hired to move the car, without knowing the customer was stealing it?
Monday afternoon the car was found in the 2300 block of Ruby parked along the curb. It had been stripped of the engine, interior, wheels, tires and lights. The carcass was left sitting on junk wheels and tires. A neighbor thought it had been sitting there for a bit, perhaps dropped off Saturday or Sunday.
Either way, Police believe there's a garage somewhere near 20th and Court that is being used a a "chop shop." The manner in which it was stripped was certainly not amatuer. To cannibalize a car that fast and efficiently takes skill--without tearing the rest of it apart.
Anyone with any information is urged to call (509)-628-0333. All leads can be confidential. This case, and not just the car theft, remains under investigation.