Warrants served in Arizona auto theft investigation - New York News

Warrants served in Arizona auto theft investigation

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PHOENIX -

State and local authorities served search warrants at several locations in Phoenix, Coolidge and Tucson as part of a 15-month investigation into an alleged auto theft ring.

According to authorities, car thieves took stolen vehicles to the "Hendrix & Co." salvage yard where the cars would be reduced to scrap, no questions asked.

"They provided opportunities for people that steal cars to dispose of those vehicles," said DPS Capt. Bruce Campbell.

"Word gets out... if you've got stolen silverware, people know where the crooked pawn shops are. Same thing with recyclables and salvage yards."

15 search warrants related to the Hendrix company were served at businesses and homes on Wednesday. Investigators raided three scrap yards in Phoenix, one in Coolidge, and one in Tucson.

About a dozen people were arrested. It's not clear if the owner of the company was one of those arrested. Hendrix, located at 9th St and Broadway, has been in the area for years.

"Specifically the investigation targeted trafficking in stolen property, fraudulent schemes, money laundering, narcotics sales, conspiracy, and operation of a criminal enterprise," said Robert Halliday, DPS.

The Phoenix Police Department says multiple agencies participated in the investigation dubbed Operation Tin Man.

Those included the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the state Automobile Theft Authority, the state Attorney General's Office and the county attorney offices for Maricopa and Pinal counties.

The sheriff's offices in Pima and Pinal counties and the Glendale and Goodyear police departments were among agencies that helped execute the warrants on Wednesday.

More arrests could be on the way. The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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