DPS: Detectives bust chop shop, recover 5 stolen vehicles

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A chop shop was busted and four men were arrested in a May 22 raid, DPS said. (Source: Department of Public Safety) A chop shop was busted and four men were arrested in a May 22 raid, DPS said. (Source: Department of Public Safety)
Five stolen vehicles were recovered. (Source: DPS) Five stolen vehicles were recovered. (Source: DPS)
The investigation started on May 14. (Source: DPS) The investigation started on May 14. (Source: DPS)
DPS didn't say where the chop shop was located. (Source: DPS) DPS didn't say where the chop shop was located. (Source: DPS)
DPS searched several residences. (Source: DPS) DPS searched several residences. (Source: DPS)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Four men were arrested and five stolen vehicles were recovered after detectives dismantled a chop shop, the Department of Public Safety said.

The investigation started on May 14 when detectives started surveillance of a residence and suspects in the Valley and spotted a stolen vehicle there. That led to additional suspects and multiple stolen vehicles between several residences, DPS said. A chop shop was then identified.

On May 22, with the help of the SWAT, detectives with Arizona's Border Strike Force (ABSF) Vehicle Theft Task Force (VTTF) searched three different residences to make the arrests and recover the stolen vehicles.

The four men arrested have been identified as Alma Melinda Ruelas, 47, of Mexico, Jose Luis Santa Cruz, 23 of Phoenix, Jesus Francisco Felix-Rodriguez, 29, of Mexico and Jose Maximiliano Muro-Nunez, 22, of Mexico.

Ruelas had an outstanding felony warrant, DPS said.

Santa Cruz is facing two counts of theft of means of transportation, one count of owning/operating a chop shop and also had a misdemeanor warrant.

Felix-Rodriguez will be charged with four counts of theft of means of transportation and one count of possession/use of burglary tools.

Muro-Nunez is facing one count of theft of means of transportation, one count of control of stolen property and one count of possession/use of burglary tools.

DPS didn't say if the three men from Mexico were in the country illegally or not.

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