Case Studies

Tracker And Police Partnership Detect and Shut Down An Illegal Greater London Chop Shop

Intact stolen Mercedes AMG recovered alongside 20 other dismantled stolen cars destined for Taiwan

In a joint operation, Tracker Network (UK) and U.K. police have stopped an organised crime gang in its tracks, after a stolen Mercedes Benz AMG-GLE fitted with a Tracker unit led them to an illegal chop shop.  Alongside the intact AMG, police seized a container full of 20 vehicles already stripped down to parts and an additional 37 car engines, all destined for onward shipment to criminal networks in Taiwan.  

While the Mercedes was returned in one piece to its thankful owner, the stolen vehicle recovery expert, Tracker, is warning vehicle owners to remain vigilant as organised crime gangs continue to cash-in on trading lucrative illegal vehicle parts.

The Mercedes Benz AMG-GLE, worth over £65,000, was stolen by thieves from Hampstead Heath, London in the early hours of the morning and is the pride and joy of its owner, who said, “I looked out of my window and was shocked to see that my car had been taken from right outside my house.  After discovering from my security camera that it had been stolen at 5am, I got in touch with Tracker and the police so they could activate the tracking device.”

Once activated, police and Tracker located the vehicle in Walthamstow, Greater London, in what looked to be a motor spares garage.  After securing a warrant to enter the premises, police not only found the vehicle was actually in an illegal chop shop, but they were able to surprise and arrest three criminals.

Tracker’s vehicle recovery team kept the owner constantly up to date with the recovery process.  Understandably, the owner was shaken to hear that the Mercedes was in a chop shop, but relieved to learn that Tracker had been able to find the car before it got broken down into parts like all the others. Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by U.K. police forces - a collaboration that is vital to Tracker’s ability to swiftly locate and recover stolen vehicles.

Commenting on the recovery, Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said, “Of course, this is the best result possible for our customer.  We were able to work closely alongside the police to recover her vehicle intact, which is so satisfying.  Especially pleasing though, is the fact that the recovery of the Mercedes led us to thwart the illegal operations of yet another chop shop, a building containing stolen vehicles to be stripped down for their expensive parts to be sold on, on the black market.  

Police uncovered 44 illegal chop shops in 2022 as a result of us locating stolen vehicles belonging to our customers being hidden there, but the number is significantly on the rise this year. Unfortunately, while criminals can make illegal gains from car parts, new chop shops will continue to appear, so it is vital we work hand-in hand with the police to continually help stop them in their tracks.”

Tracker’s detection units are fitted in over 2000 police patrol vehicles and throughout the national fleet of Police helicopters that comprise the National Police Air Service (NPAS). Working like an electronic homing device, a covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t know it’s there. The combination of Tracker’s unique VHF with GPS/GSM technology means its SVR devices are a superior security defence against the most determined thieves.