BROOKSVILLE — Authorities have accused a Brooksville couple of running a chop shop and have recovered a pair of stolen engines, a motorcycle, a utility vehicle and a small front-end loader.
Charles Daniel Reese, 34, was arrested on 11 counts, including operating a chop shop, grand theft and drug possession. Ashley Lavon Rutter, 22, was arrested on a forgery charge.
The investigation began after a deputy pulled over a man in a 1996 Toyota RAV4 on June 15. On the vehicle title the man presented was the signature of a person the deputy knew had recently died.
The man told the deputy that after seeing an ad on Craigslist for the Toyota, he bought the vehicle for $2,000 from Reese and Rutter.
Reese later admitted, authorities say, that Rutter had forged the dead person's signature and listed the vehicle on Craigslist.
On Reese's property at 16128 Forzando Ave., deputies say they later discovered an assortment of other engines, parts and vehicles, several of which were stolen from Hernando, the Pinellas Park Police Department and Gwinnett County, Ga.
After a search of the home, authorities say they also found 1.2 grams of methamphetamine, six oxycodone pills and a digital scale with cocaine residue.