Investigators raided what turned out to be a chop shop Tuesday and found a smorgasbord of car parts. They said they believe that the parts come from vehicles that were stolen and then dismantled at the location.
Detained nearby was a man believed to be the operator of the shop, a Syrian national, agents said. The facility was in Barrio Cuba, a low-income neighborhood. The Judicial Investigating Organization said that many of the vehicles were believed to have been stolen in the immediate area and in nearby Cristo Rey.
Agents found one vehicle that had been stolen over the weekend that was being dismantled, but there were no workers in the shop when they arrived.
The judicial agency said that the raid was the result of investigative procedures, but informal sources said a woman who lost her car to crooks spotted the vehicle and tipped agents.
A dismantled vehicle is frequently worth more than assembled original, and there is less trouble in selling parts because documents do not have to be forged and vehicle numbers altered.