Police bust car thieves, ‘Chop Shop’ found near Lytton Springs


On July 10, 2006 the Sheriff”s Combined Auto Theft Task Force received a tip of possible stolen vehicles in rural Caldwell County. Investigators were tipped off that there were stolen vehicles on County Line Road. The tip led to a search warrant and one of the largest “chop shops” in Caldwell County”s history. Investigators contacted the Texas Department of Public Safety and

requested a helicopter to survey the area. Investigators flew the area and spotted a piece of property that had approximately 50 vehicles on it. Investigators could see vehicles on the property that appeared to have been stripped and dismantled.
Investigators were able to obtain enough information and probable cause for a search warrant. Detective Rick Rutledge was issued a search warrant for the property in the 1000 block of County Line Road, in Caldwell County, by Caldwell County Court at Law Judge Edward Jarrett.
Once on the property Investigators began inspecting the vehicles. The late afternoon search warrant quickly turned into a late night search warrant when a total of 10 vehicles were found to be stolen from the Austin and surrounding area. The vehicles ranged from Chevrolet pickups, various sport utility vehicles, to a Air Stream Motor Home. The value of the vehicles is estimated at near or above $100,000. No suspects were arrested, however charges are imminent.
The investigation included officers and investigators from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Caldwell County Sheriff”s Office, and Sheriff”s Combined Auto Theft Task Force.
(Courtesy of Paul Cowan)


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