It was a take-down in the front yard of a Fresno home, for neighbors to see and finally answer their own questions.
“They're always out here working on their cars and stuff...switching out things, parts, and stuff like that...but wouldn't think it's a chop shop,” said Jameelah Magee who babysits kids next door.
Police found car parts, street racer cars, a motorcycle, stolen stuff and about eight pounds of marijuana growing in the backyard.
They busted the chop shop during a Craigslist sting operation.
“I mean that's just crazy,” said Magee.
Fresno Police got a call from a man saying someone tried buying his air compressor on Craigslist in exchange for marijuana.
An officer posed as the seller and met with the suspicious buyer at an undisclosed location.
The buyer reportedly handed over two ounces of pot for the compressor.
Police followed him to the house, questioned a group of men, and arrested two.
“It goes to show the nexus between auto theft burglaries, drug activity, it's all about making money it's a criminal enterprise,” said Fresno Police Sgt. Tim Tietjen.
Sgt. Tim Tietjen says Fresno's auto theft task force or CCATT has taken down dozens of chop shops since it got started a couple years ago. Bringing down the number of cars stolen per day to an average of seven...an all time low.
“I hope they get everything cleared up and we can get this street back to being quiet and nice for the kids to come out and play and stuff,” said Magee.
Craigslist provides the following rules on its website to sidestep would-be scammers:
- DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
- NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.
- FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
- CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" or "seller certification"
- NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
- AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.
- DO NOT RENT HOUSING WITHOUT SEEING THE INTERIOR, OR PURCHASE EXPENSIVE ITEMS SIGHT-UNSEEN - in all likelihood that housing unit is not actually for rent and that cheap item does not exist.
- DO NOT SUBMIT TO CREDIT CHECKS OR BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR A JOB OR FOR HOUSING UNTIL YOU HAVE MET THE INTERVIEWER OR LANDLORD/AGENT IN PERSON.