Victim helps police uncover suspected chop shop operation - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Victim helps police uncover suspected chop shop operation

Dennis Dennis

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIPAHU (KHNL) - A motorcycle theft victim's sharp eyes led Honolulu police to a suspected chop shop operation in Waipahu.

Dennis, 27, who prefers that we not publish his last name, says he spotted parts from his motorcycle, which was stolen 10 days ago, being sold on the Internet. He immediately tipped police.

Rows and rows of motorcycles. It almost looks like a showroom.

"This is one of the largest operations that we have been involved with," Capt. Sean Naito, Honolulu Police Department, said.

Acting on a tip, police launched an investigation and stumbled upon 32 motorcycles with defaced serial numbers. So far, 18 are confirmed stolen.

"You get pretty mad, you know," Dennis said. "You buy something. You're paying for it and sometimes you stretch yourself out to get things you like, and then somebody just comes and takes it."

After the theft of his bike, something on the Internet caught Dennis' eye.

"You saw some of your parts?" this reporter asked.

"Yeah, yeah," he replied. "We've seen a lot of newer bikes showing up on Craig's List for ridiculously low prices and stuff. So I guess that's where the police were able to move forward."

Officers say they seized the bikes during a raid at Twins Auto Body on Pupuole Street in Waipahu Thursday. They arrested 24-year-old twin brothers Thang and Toan Nguyen, as well as two other men, on suspicion of various offenses, including detaining stolen property.

"Usually when bikes get stolen, you never hear anything else about it," Dennis said. "So when the police called and said, hey, you know, we found your bike and I'm like, oh, what's it look like now, you know. But it's good to see somebody steals, gets caught."

Investigators say they also recovered motorcycle frames, tools used to re-stamp vehicle identification numbers, and several firearms.

Dennis is looking to get a new ride.

"There's going to be a lot more protection now, should I get another bike," he said.

The suspects are at the main police cellblock awaiting charges.

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