Investigation uncovers chop shop operation

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A man has been arrested and 20 stolen vehicles have been recovered as the result of a major auto theft investigation conducted by Tucson Police Auto Theft Detectives along with the Southern Arizona Auto Theft Task Force. 64-year old Joe Zappia has been booked into the Pima County Jail on one count of chop shop operation, a felony.

On July 29, police officers served a search warrant at a property near South Sandario Road and West Park, where 20 vehicles that had been reported stolen in the Tucson area were discovered. The following day, additional evidence was found when a search warrant was served at Zappia's residence in the 4800 block of South Fickett, and he was taken into custody at that time.