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Hernando County investigators uncover suspected 'chop shop'

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County investigators have arrested a 37-year-old man suspected of running a "chop shop" in Masaryktown.

Deputies who were conducting a stolen vehicle investigation at 531 Roosevelt Ave. early Thursday found a 1981 GMC pickup truck and several auto parts on the nearly 2-acre property. The truck and the parts were believed to be stolen, according to the Sheriff's Office.

During the investigation, detectives discovered the vehicle identification number plate had been cut from the dash of the truck. They also found vehicle doors, hoods, tires, air-conditioning system parts and other items that came from a Ford F-250 crew cab and a Ford F-150 super cab.

Using the VIN from the frame of the F-250, detectives learned the vehicle was registered to a woman in Lutz and had been reported stolen Dec. 9 from Pasco County after it had been repossessed. Many of the items at the scene matched the description of the vehicle.

Erick Richard Robinson of Masaryktown, who owned the property, was arrested and faces charges of operating a chop shop and grand theft auto. He was taken to the Hernando County Jail, where he was being held on $3,000 bail.

Robinson told authorities he bought the truck from someone in Pinellas County and purchased the parts from someone who wasn't immediately identified.

Joel Anderson can be reached at joelanderson@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6120.

Hernando County investigators uncover suspected 'chop shop' 12/11/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2009 8:26pm]
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