Lookout Valley chop shop operator arrested
A Chattanooga man has been charged for running an illegal chop shop and stealing over $60,000 worth of property.
Two theft victims told the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office that their airboat had been stolen from their property by someone in a maroon truck with an advertisement on the back, according to the arrest affidavit.
Deputies received a tip that the boat was seen at a home on Harris Lane in Lookout Valley.
When deputies arrived at the property, they found the airboat and the truck, which had an "Ace Lawn Service and Scrap" advertisement in the window.
They spoke with two people at the home, Lisa Brown and Charles Brown. Deputies said they both cooperated "but neither was surprised nor questioned why law enforcement was in their driveway."
Deputies also found multiple vehicles on the property that were stolen, the affidavit continued. One of the vehicles was a Honda that Charles Brown said belonged to his brother Alvin Brown. Deputies said Charles was surprised to learn it was stolen but didn't react when he learned the airboat and another vehicle were stolen as well.
Charles Brown also said the boat and the other vehicle were brought there by his brother too.
The property owner told deputies that he saw both Charles and Alvin Brown pull the stolen boat onto the property.
Several of the vehicles and the airboat had been chopped for parts, according to deputies.
"The items reported stolen by the victims are consistent to those items that are commonly and/or easily scrapped for cash," deputies explained.
Deputies took Charles Brown into custody. He faces charges of
- Theft of property over $60,000
- Theft of property over $2,500
- Operation of unlawful chop shop
- Criminal conspiracy
During a search of the house, deputies found drug paraphernalia next to Lisa Brown's bed. Brown, who is on state probation, ran off on foot into the woods. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.
A warrant has also been issued for the arrest of Alvin Brown.