POLICE have shut down a chop shop after securing a closure order on business premises in Cradley Heath.

West Midlands Police successfully obtained a closure order for Chapel House Car Sales at hearing at Dudley Magistrates Court last Friday (August 11) after stolen cars and parts from six other vehicles were found at the premises in Forge Lane last month.

The order means no-one can access the unit for the next three months, and police will continue to monitor the site to ensure it stays shut during the time period.

As part of wider enquiries, a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and assaulting two officers and he was released on bail while investigations continue.

A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said: "Chop shops are an important outlet for car thieves, acting as a place for vehicles to be stored and also dismantled for parts.

"We know the impact of vehicle crime on our communities and we'd urge anyone who suspects a chop shop is operating near them to inform us."

Tell-tale signs of a chop shop could include:
• Noise coming from units late at night or in the early hours of the morning
• Vehicles that look out of place going in to workshops and not coming back out
• Large amounts of car parts being stored, sometimes in odd places such as gardens
• Shipping containers in unusual locations
• Expensive items such as engines and gearboxes outside workshops