MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis men have been charged with running a “chop shop” after a stolen car part was found on a lot in Frayser.

Police said a woman reported her 2010 Infiniti G37 stolen in December of 2021. The car’s value was estimated at $10,225.

Vanessa Summerville-Griffen, a heart patient, used the car to get to doctor’s appointments in Nashville. She said she watched someone steal her Infiniti outside a Hickory Hill apartment complex while she was taking care of her pregnant daughter.

“The person just got out of an Infiniti truck, walked up to my car, clicked it as if it was his opened the door got in, and drove away,” she said.

Nearly six months later, on Wednesday, detectives found the engine of the Infiniti at a lot on Whitney Avenue near Dellwood Avenue. Police say detectives found multiple vehicles and parts “in various stages of disrepair” on the lot.

Including the engine to her Infiniti. The VIN number matched the one owned by the Griffens.

While they checked to see if any of them had also been reported stolen, a man identified as Eric Aldridge approached them and said he was the lessee of the lot and owned the property that was there.

Police said Aldridge was detained on the scene and later questioned, where he reportedly gave a statement reiterating that he was the lessee of the lot.

The lot’s owner, identified as Ahmed Alshujaa, was also arrested. Police say Alshujaa told officers he knew work was being done on the lot and he felt that Aldridge was not conducting a legal business, but he did not feel the need to call police.

Alshujaa also reportedly told police he took cash payments from Aldridge and never gave any receipts. He said he paid the energy bill for two months until he cut it off sometime in the fall.

Memphis Police did not say whether Aldridge admitted to stealing the Infiniti, but Vanessa’s husband, Howard, said police told them Infiniti’s are often targeted in the area.

“Someone who has the skill set to take an engine out of a vehicle could legitimately work a job. They could start their own business and probably make even more money and not have to look over their shoulder,” Howard said.

The car has been replaced but they both said learning it was possibly butchered at a chop shop adds to the loss.

“For them, it was really just an object or almost trash to them, but it meant something to us,” Howard said.

Guided by their faith, they’re hoping for the chance to talk with Aldridge face-to-face in court.

“I want to see him just ask ‘what are you thinking?’ Do you realize you are hurting someone,” Vanessa said.

Aldridge has been charged with prohibited operation/ownership of a chop stop and theft of property worth $10,000 – $60,000.

He’s due in court next week.