DA’s Office Targets Illegal San Jose Chop Shops

For release on October 30, 2020


Garner Morris
Deputy District Attorney
Consumer Protection Unit
(408) 792-2641


DA’s Office Targets Illegal San Jose Chop Shops

The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office will begin prosecution this month of nine San Jose auto repair shops that were illegally taking apart vehicles without a license.

All of the so-called “Chop Shops” were on Kings Row, which lies between the 880 freeway and Oakland Road.

If convicted of the charged misdemeanors, the owners of the auto repair businesses could face fines and jail time. 

“Unlicensed chop shops are a nuisance to the community,” Deputy District Attorney Garner Morris said. “Not only do they pose a threat to our environment and sell defective auto parts to unsuspecting consumers, they deprive our economy of tax revenue and put their employees at risk by not providing proper worker’s compensation insurance. It is important to shut down illegal chop shops.”

The shops were cited as part of an operation conducted by the State Vehicle Dismantler Industry Strike Team (VDIST), a multi-agency collaboration created by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to investigate unlicensed vehicle dismantlers.

Vehicle dismantlers are auto body and repair shops that dismantle a vehicle and strip it for parts. Individuals who dismantle vehicles without permits may not properly dispose of the hazardous waste that comes from a vehicle, such as used oil and other fluids. Parts sold by illegal dismantlers can be defective and create a safety hazard. 

VDIST will continue focusing on problem areas throughout the county by identifying and citing unlicensed vehicle dismantlers, as well as checking for compliance with state law and environmental regulations. The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office encourages the public to report unlicensed vehicle dismantling activity. To report unlicensed vehicle dismantling activity to the DMV Investigations Division, complete the online complaint form.



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