NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Court documents show a so-called “chop shop” in West Nashville was the reason why the FBI raided a home in the West Nashville last week.
For hours, neighbors watched as a search warrant was executed on Wednesday, Sept. 6 as agents spent hours searching a home in the 6000 block of Hill Circle Drive.
Robert Thomas has been charged with vehicle theft after an affidavit said tools to make things like driver licenses, vehicle titles, manufacturer stickers, vehicle identification numbers, and license plates were found in his home.
Authorities located a Dodge Charger stolen from Phoenix, Arizona, in addition to a Mercedes G63 Wagen stolen out of Los Angeles, California.
During the raid, police said Brian Boyd also showed up at the house while driving a Ford Bronco stolen from Wisconsin.
According to a recently released study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, muscle cars are the vehicles stolen the most in the country.
“Professional thieves are targeting vehicles that are expensive, luxurious, and go fast,” said Russ Rader, senior VP for communications for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “The days are mostly gone where car thieves are hot wiring vehicles and taking them out for joyrides. These are professionals.”
Two models in particular stood out in their most recent study.
“These things are stolen at rates that dwarf any average vehicle. In fact, the Dodge Hellcat has a theft rate that’s 60 times the average vehicle,” Rader said. “The regular Dodge HEMI has a theft rate that’s 20 times higher.”
Rader urges others to consider these numbers when purchasing a car, especially if you don’t have a garage to store the vehicle in.
Agents were able to track down Thomas as the suspect after text messages between him and another man in a seven-person conspiracy to transport and sell stolen vehicles surfaced. Thomas also claimed to have ties to men creating counterfeit VIN numbers, one of whom is now in Williamson County Jail.
Brentwood police eventually began watching Thomas’ home, noticing other vehicle theft suspects coming and going.