MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department raided a chop shop in North Memphis where they recovered stolen vehicles, a large amount of illegal drugs and placed five people in custody.
According to police, a tow truck driver was arrested in the University of Memphis area and said the man who ran the chop shop hired him to steal vehicles for “side money.”
“I been here nine years and there’s been trouble over there ever since,” said Cora Featherson, Memphis resident.
Featherson says on Wednesday morning she watched from her porch as Memphis Police and ATF Agents raided the property, which is the base of operations for a major chop shop ring, on Farmville Road.
“Just saw a bunch of police cars and I saw them with the pistols pulled out and stuff like that,” Featherson said.
Memphis Police say they arrested a total of five people. Among those arrested was Arguess Baker who is charged with numerous felonies for theft, drugs, and violation of the chop shop law.
Clarissa Brim was also arrested for theft, drugs, and violation of the chop shop law.
In the backyard, officers say they found several tools and auto parts and recovered numerous stolen vehicles.
“I can’t count how many they hauled off but I do know some of the people came and got their cars,” Featherson said.
Police were led to the operation after a local tow truck driver, employed by DTS towing, was apprehended trying to steal two vehicles on Brower Street in the University of Memphis area.
A neighbor says the driver managed to get away with an older model Ford Bronco.
“The same guy that come in early take one car that was parked over there and he take it and drop it somewhere else and come back to take another one,” said Rolando Vargas, a witness.
The tow truck driver was caught after he came back to steal a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria. Police say that he had no paperwork for the tows and stated he was hired by Arguess Baker to steal two vehicles.
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The owner of the Bronco was able to recover his vehicle, which was a family heirloom.
“It’s more like a feeling, not like how much you can pay for this car because it belonged to his grandfather, his father,” said Vargas. “So it’s something very sentimental.”
Arguess Baker is being held on a $206, 500 bond, and Clarissa Brim is on a $90,000 bond.
WREG has reached out to DTS Towing for a comment but has yet to hear back.