The gang specialised in motorcycles and was offering more than 500 products online with a market value in excess of €300,000

Spain’s Civil Guard and the Madrid local police on Tuesday arrested 16 people suspected of running a chop shop that was stealing high-end motorcycles and cars and then selling their parts via the internet. Through a number of different profiles, the gang was offering more than 500 products online with a market value of some €300,000.

The authorities seized chassis and engines from all kinds of vehicles, as well as nearly €35,000 in cash. The huge number of parts located by the police meant that it has so far been impossible to estimate the value of all of the material found.

Investigations by the authorities showed that the first step in the criminal organisation was to steal the vehicles, and then park them near a garage. They were then taken inside said garage and completely stripped, with the parts sent to another garage or a warehouse in Toledo province. 

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16 arrested in Madrid accused of running a chop shop that stole luxury vehicles and sold parts all over Spain. Image Guardia Civil.

Any parts that could not be used were taken to scrap yards where they were destroyed, with the chassis number filed down in order to prevent identification. 

As well as parts, the gang was also reselling motorbikes and vehicles once they had been worked on to disguise their origin. 

According to a Civil Guard statement, the police also seized the materials used by the gang to erase the chassis numbers as well as devices used to clone electric ignition keys, as well as frequency blockers and blank vehicle registration documents. 

Outside one of the properties raided on Tuesday by the authorities, in the Tetuán neighbourhood, a Porsche was parked, according to reporting by Spanish daily El País. The vehicle had a value of more than €100,000. 

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