Tucson police descend on scrap metal business

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A major undercover bust for TPD together with several state agencies Tuesday.

A local scrap metal company is accused of buying up stolen property, including stolen cars.

And they've been doing it for years say investigators.

TPD finally made their move, serving a search warrant early Tuesday morning, taking 5 people into custody.

Monday's move was the culmination of months of undercover work.

Tucson police released surveillance video that reportedly shows workers accepting a stolen car from TPD officers.

The first one was taken in on May 3.  By the end of the investigation Metal Management took in 11 simulated stolen cars from undercover officers.

TPD says every vehicle they brought in was in a database of stolen vehicles.

Tucson police also say it wasn't just cars.  They brought in safes that had been forced open

Metal Management also took in stolen ATMs and wire for scrap metal. 

In the Tucson area, this scrap yard is pretty well known.

Tuesday, folks stopped by to drop off scrap just to find out, they might have to find a new place to do business.

TPD says this case is ongoing and additional follow up investigation will continue into metal management and their practices.

Tucson on average recovers about 60-70% of its stolen vehicles.  Last year over 3,300 cars were reported stolen and 69% were recovered.

TPD says criminal businesses like though make the problem much worse.