By Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)A major auto theft ring bust in Florida, has ties to Chattanooga.  14 people are in custody Friday night and police are searching for more.

Police say Adam Weaver is wanted for theft over $1,000 in Chattanooga.  Weaver will face prosecution in Florida before he's extradited to Tennessee.   

Friday one business helped us understand how these elaborate and illegal 'chop shops' operate and the effect they have on those in the auto industry.

"We fix and resell them as rebuilt cars," says Rodney Wallace with B & F Auto Sales in Chattanooga. 

Wallace is part of a well-known and reputable business, but he says people sometimes mistake their shop for something else.

"People don't know what they're looking at," he says.  "They see the cars in pieces and just think that's what's going on." 

Wallace says every move they make has to be documented, because of illegal operations like the one Chattanooga Police rounded up Thursday night.

"The arrest warrants were for auto theft and several arrests related to auto theft," says Sergeant Jerri Weary with CPD. 

The 14 people in the mug shots released by police Friday weren't working together.  They were involved in car thefts, whether by stealing an entire car or its parts.

"Most of the chop shops you're talking about today work in repairs," says Wallace.  "Sometimes it's even the whole car that was stolen." 

Wallace says thieves will steal cars changing vin numbers and reselling the parts as new.  He says the key is documentation.

"If we use a used fender we have to submit a copy of the title that the fender came from, and keep records of what parts we've used of that car," Wallace says. 

"It was just an effort to get as many of these arrest warrants executed at one time as possible," says Sergeant Weary. 

For Wallace and the many other reputable companies working hard to make a living, that's good news.

"Anybody who's not doing the right thing deserves to get what they deserve," Wallace says. 

According to Sergeant Weary the information on Adam Weaver was gathered by CPD officers.   

Police reported recovering 50 stolen cars, trucks and motorcycles from his operation in Largo, Florida.

Those arrested in the round-up include:

  • Walter Moss II, 21, of Hamilton County Jail for theft over $500 and assault
  • Shanice Kelley, 22, of Hamilton County Jail for theft over $10,000
  • Robert Lee Daniels, 43, of Hamilton County Jail for theft over $500
  • Demetius Solomon, 21, of Hamilton County Jail for theft over $1,000
  • Natasha Dunn, 23, of Hamilton County Jail for theft over $1,000
  • Charles Bonner, 26, of Hamilton County Jail for theft over $1,000
  • Charles Cooper, Jr., 66, of Walden Avenue for theft over $1,000
  • Jeremy Mashburn, 31, of Eads Street for auto theft and non-payment of child support
  • Steven Adams, 50, of East 51st Street for theft over $1,000 and probation violation
  • Farrell Sims, 22, of McBrien Road for three counts of theft over $1,000
  • Marlon Crawl, 21, of Kelly Street for probation violation
  • Clarence "Eddie" McCorkle, 37, of East Brainerd Road for theft over $1,000
  • William McGlocton, 22, of 4th Avenue for probation violation, drug possession, robbery and driving on a revoked license
  • Cedrick Woodgett, 27, of 4th Avenue for vandalism
  • Charles Watkins, Jr., 38, of Georgia Avenue for theft over $500 and two counts of non-payment of child support
  • Adam Weaver, 31, of Largo Florida for theft over $1,000