Brundidge police suspect ‘chop shop’

Published 8:35 pm Monday, March 28, 2011

Two Brundidge men have been arrested in connection with what the police chief says could be a “chop shop” type operation.

Kendall Davis, 21, has been charged with theft first degree and Roderick Haynes, 37, has been charged with receiving stolen property, second degree. The charges stem from the theft and recovery of a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass, that was reported stolen March 16 from a vacant lot on Leona Place.

Haynes was arrested on a warrant on March 21. Davis turned in himself in to the Brundidge Police Department around 2 p.m. Monday for his role in the incident.

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Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said both men are free on bond.

The investigation into the theft was conducted by Investigator Willie Frank Berry and Officer Ronald Yohn of the Brundidge Police Department.

Acting on a tip, the officers located a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass that had been cut into parts and loaded onto a trailer near the chipper mill in Brundidge on Monday.

“The car had been actually been sawed into pieces and it appeared as if it was loaded and ready to be delivered and sold as scrap metal,” Davenport said. “Alabama requires that vehicles made from 1975 must have an Alabama certificate of title. If there’s no title, a vehicle can’t be sold as scrap metal. But, if a car is cut up – chopped up – then no title is required so it can be sold as scrap.”

The chief estimated that, depending on the going price of scrap metal, the vehicle could have brought between $300 and $400.

Davenport said chop shops are rather common in big cities like Birmingham and Chicago but he would never have thought that one could be in Brundidge.

“We’ve found stolen cars that had been burned or stripped down but, not in my 34 years, have I seen anything like this in Brundidge,” he said. “The vehicle had been cut up and packaged to sell. Whoever did this didn’t use a torch or a handsaw. They had gone above and beyond to cut this up.”

The chief speculated that this incident wasn’t the first “heavy cut-up” for those involved or, if it were, it was not to be the last.

“We don’t know where they planned to sell the scarp metal but, it would be unethical to buy scrap like this,” he said.

Davenport said Haynes denied any knowledge of the incident but Davis turned himself into the Brundidge Police Department Monday for his role in the theft.

“The cut-up vehicle was on Haynes’ trailer and strapped down with his chains and binders, but he said that he didn’t know anything about the vehicle or how it got on his trailer,” Davenport said.

The incident is still under investigation by the Brundidge Police Department.