Car crushing shops, homes searched in 'significant' auto theft investigation

Car crushing shops, homes searched in 'significant' auto theft investigation
Officers served a search warrant at West Coast Car Crushing on North Columbia Boulevard. (KATU photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Investigators from the Portland Police Bureau are joining forces with nine other agencies to investigate a “significant” series of auto thefts.

Officers served search warrants at five locations in Portland and Vancouver Tuesday. Some of them were car-crushing operations, including West Coast Car Crushing on North Columbia Boulevard.

According to witnesses, the raids were fast and smooth.

Police bureau sources said investigators believe stolen cars are being taken by thieves then crushed and resold as scrap.

However, the investigation is not over. Portland police are interviewing several people detained after warrants were served Tuesday. Those individuals were not under arrest and officers did not believe any of them would be booked into jail.

A Portland police spokesman said detectives confiscated the car-crushing device from one facility as evidence.

He also said the investigation is not over. Before any felony charges are filed in the case, it must be reviewed by a grand jury.