"Operation Tin Man" prompts raids across state in widespread auto-theft ring
Simone Del Rosario
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - After a year-long investigation, authorities crack down on a widespread auto theft ring, raiding multiple salvage yards across the state as a result of "Operation Tin Man."
One of those yards is on the northwest side of Tucson at Hendrix and Co. Recycling, LLC.
Other locations included Hendrix recycling centers in Phoenix and Coolidge, all part of the family run company.
On Wednesday, officials arrested at least 12 people and charged 55 counts, including organized crime, operating a chop shop and trafficking stolen property.
But a member of the Hendrix family who spoke to KNXV in Phoenix said her family didn't do anything wrong.
"We have done everything law-abiding and, like I said, have helped out the community," C. Hendrix said.
In a statement from the family's lawyer, it says the company has been around for 18 years and denies any involvement with the charges.
But authorities are sticking to their guns. They say the crackdown was made possible with the help of at least 10 agencies, including Phoenix police, DPS, Automotive Theft Agency and the Pima County Sheriff's Department.
"This should serve as a warning for anyone who is contemplating or currently engaged in widespread criminal activity," stated Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "We're going to find out about you; we will catch you; and we will prosecute you."