DPS busts suspected motorcycle chop shop in Phoenix

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Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas
Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas
Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas
Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas
Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized during Operation Ultra Light. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Public Safety served two search warrants Wednesday morning following a months-long investigation into a suspected motorcycle chop shop.

The Arizona DPS Vehicle Theft Task Force, supported by the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority, served the warrants at Insane Custom Cycles near 32nd Street and Cactus Road in Phoenix and at the Glendale home of shop owner Johnny Goodson.

DPS detectives discovered stolen Harley Davidson motorcycles were being chopped down and resold as custom Ultra Motor Group motorcycles out of the Insane Custom Cycles store, according to a DPS press release.

Detectives suspect that Insane Custom Cycles was fraudulently installing Ultra Motor Group Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plates on stolen Harley Davidson motorcycles.

"We have even brought in experts to help identify the numbers, the Harley Davidson experts who can identify these parts, and it's been real successful," said Fred Zumbro with Arizona's Automobile Theft Authority.

A suspect with access to Manufacturer Statements of Origin (MSO) for Ultra Motor Group issued the MSOs for the "new" motorcycles, a key first step in order to obtain Arizona Motor Vehicle Division titles, according to DPS.

No arrests have been made, but several suspects were contacted and interviewed during "Operation Ultra Light." Numerous motorcycles, parts and equipment were recovered or seized.

"We've just been servicing motorcycles here, and they get a hunch and come here and seize everything," said a motorcycle technician who goes by the name Scrappy. "Now it's impossible for us to make a living."

Scrappy said if there are stolen bikes or parts at the shop, it's because customers brought them in. He also said it's not the shop's responsibility to check if items are stolen.

"Customers bring us stuff and we build it," he said. "We're not going to call in every motorcycle that comes into our front door to, 'Oh, run these numbers. Are they legal or not legal?' "

The suspects could face charges including fraudulent schemes, tampering with a Vehicle Identification Number, theft of means of transportation, operating a criminal syndicate, trafficking in stolen property, possession of stolen property, and operating a chop shop.