MULBERRY, Fla. - At least two Polk County men are accused of running a chop shop, where they stole vehicles and sold their parts.
Over the weekend, deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office raided what looks like a junk yard behind a home in Mulberry. They arrested Gary Williams, who lives at the home, and Cody Caruthers.
They say the men ran the so-called chop shop. Investigators found car doors, truck beds, and entire center consoles, among dozens of other car parts, littered throughout Williams' property.
Most of the car parts that they could identify were traced back to stolen vehicles reported in nearby communities, according to investigators.
They say the men disassembled the cars and sold the parts on sites like Craigslist.
Williams' grandfather and brother, who also live on the property, told me they had no idea what he was up to.
Neighbors thought he just collected junk.
"It’s hard to believe, it was right under my nose," said Coy Castleberry, who lives nearby. "I don’t know the boy very well. He is a neighbor and lives in the neighborhood, and it’s just hard to believe."
Castleberry said he sat back on Saturday and watched as investigators hauled away truckload after truckload of car parts and machinery.
Deputies say more arrests are coming.
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