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Gaston police arrest 2, allege ‘chop shop’ operation

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/05/13/36/sQ2nE.Em.138.jpeg|395
    - Gaston County Jail
    Patrick Brandon Hinson, 25, of Gastonia, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and chop shop activity, police say. (Gaston County Jail photo.)
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/12/05/13/36/1sF0iC.Em.138.jpeg|383
    - Gaston County Jail
    Curtis Lee Hinson, 23, of Gastonia, has been charged with two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle and chop shop activity, according to Gaston County Police. (Gaston County Jail photo.)

Two brothers have been arrested in what Gaston County police say was a “chop shop” operation.

Police say the suspects were taking the parts off stolen Hondas. Typically in such operations, police say, the parts are then sold.

Authorities say Patrick Brandon Hinson, 25, and Curtis Lee Hinson, 23, each was charged with two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle and chop shop activity.

A break in the case came shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday, police say, when two officers on patrol spotted a pickup truck on Oakland Lane off Hickory Grove Road. Police say the truck seemed to speed off when officers approached.

The two officers found the truck, by then unoccupied, in the 500 block of Oakland Lane. On the truck, police say, were two Honda Civics that had been reported stolen in Charlotte and Hickory.

The Hondas had been stripped of their engines, transmissions, wheels and other parts of value, investigators say.

Police then got a search warrant for a nearby residence and said they found a number of Honda engines, transmissions, body panels, wheels and interior parts.

Gastonia, Hickory and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, along with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, are helping with the investigation, Gaston County police say. They said more arrests are expected.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact Gaston County police, at 704-866-3320, or Crime Stoppers, 704-861-8000.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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