Police in Houston, TX, arrested one man after finding stolen vehicles, worth a combined $500,000, in a Jan. 19 raid of a local "chop shop," ABC13 reported.
Landon Wayne Swonke, 25, was charged with aggregate theft amounting to at least $300,000, after police apprehended him in a stolen vehicle leaving Stampede Diesel on Jones Road in Houston.
Inside Stampede Diesel, police found six vehicles, three of which were confirmed as stolen, including Dodge Chargers, a Cadillac Escalade and a Corvette valued at $170,000.
Surveillance footage from a neighboring business, shared with ABC13, captured the moment officers approached the business with weapons drawn, later seen driving the recovered vehicles out of the garage.
The operation was the result of collaborative efforts by the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO), the Texas Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Investigations.
Investigators, speaking to ABC13, said they think criminals would steal vehicles and then bring them to Swonke's business for dismantling or resale, a common practice in chop shop operations.
Swonke is currently out on a $25,000 bond, and is scheduled for a court hearing March 19.