Birmingham & Black Country

Mechanic jailed for £450k Wolverhampton 'chop shop'

Vehicle parts Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Stripped-down vehicle parts, that an expert vehicle examiner linked to stolen cars, were found at the yard

A mechanic who ran a 'chop shop' which had parts from stolen cars has been jailed for three years and seven months.

Police were alerted to Eamonn O'Malley's car yard by a tracking device from a stolen BMW.

At least 22 stolen vehicles with a combined value of £448,000 had passed through the yard, police said.

O'Malley, 59, of Ivy Road, Tipton, admitted receiving stolen goods and was sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

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Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Police said O'Malley was providing a market for car thieves across the UK

The court heard officers swooped on the car yard, in Oxford Street, Bilston, on 6 October 2015 after a tracking device inside a BMW, which had been stolen in Stockport the day before, was pinging at the industrial unit.

Officers discovered the 1 Series hatchback surrounded by a mass of stripped down vehicle parts.

An expert vehicle examiner linked the parts to cars stolen from across the West Midlands, Manchester, London, Stoke and Nottingham.

On the day police arrived, CCTV showed O'Malley fleeing the car yard using a ladder to scale the 12ft perimeter wall. He was arrested three days later.

Det Con Lee Plant, said: "We found parts, keys and owners' manuals relating to an Audi Q5, two Porsches, BMWs and a Mercedes.

"O'Malley was providing a market for car thieves across the UK, people who were causing misery and huge inconvenience to motorists."

He was sentenced on 20 January.