Georgia police arrest suspects in ‘chop shop’ investigation

COLUMBUS, Ga. — Three people have been arrested in connection with allegedly producing and altering fake vehicle identification numbers (VINs) in two-state “chop shop” operation.

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On Aug. 10, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Alabama Law Enforcement did a joint investigation that led to five search warrants served at five separate locations in Columbus; Phenix City, Alabama; Fort Mitchell, Alabama and Marion County, Ga.


Columbus police executed two search warrants for an automotive shop in the 600 block of Veteran’s Parkway and a home in the 6500 block of Forrest Road.

During their search, investigators say they learned that fake VINs were being made and altered.

Cars were also stolen and retitled with falsified documents and resold to the public.

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Authorities recovered $47,000 in cash and several thousand dollars in property, including rifles, handguns, forged titles, cars, and VIN plate-altering equipment.

Officers arrested Corderal Adravius Harris, Erica Leenona Rankin and Jonathan Steve Routier.