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BPD: Man arrested in suspected 'chop shop' operation

Police found 43 catalytic converters
BPD: Man arrested in 'chop shop' operation
Posted at 10:17 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 16:11:43-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police Department said officers with assistance from the California Highway Patrol’s Kern County Auto Theft Taskforce arrested a man in a suspected "chop shop" operation after they found three partially dismantled stolen vehicles, various car parts, and 43 catalytic converters during a search in South Bakersfield.

BPD said officers investigated a mechanic business, "Moraless Auto and Truck Mechanic,” at 128 East Terrace Way. Officers said they found three partially dismantled stolen vehicles, several stolen vehicle engines, transmissions, car parts and 43 catalytic converters.

Francisco Valencia, 27, of Bakersfield, was arrested on suspicion of operating a chop shop, possession of stolen property, possession of stolen vehicles, possession of burglary tools and possession of methamphetamine.

Valencia was previously arrested on Feb. 11th after BPD said officers found three catalytic converters, a stolen vehicle trailer and 3 pounds of marijuana during a search.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should call BPD at 661-327-7111.