by Josh Lanier
CORNELIUS – Cornelius police said they uncovered a “chop shop” operation last week after chasing two men who slammed into a patrol car trying to get away.
Police arrested William Scott Holder, 21, and David Nathan Keen, 30, on several charges in an investigation that now involves several agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Lt. Jennifer Thompson said police were called to the Windward Condos overnight Oct. 18 after witnesses saw two men shoving a motorcycle into the back of an SUV. Police pulled the SUV over, but the driver rammed the Cornelius police cruiser and fled. The officer was not injured, Thompson said.
A short chase ensued, but the men got away. The motorcycle fell out of the back of the car after the collision.
Police located the men at a Charlotte home where investigators found two other motorcycles reported stolen from Cornelius as well as several parts from other disassembled motorcycles.
“It appeared the men were operating a sort of chop shop,” Thompson said. A chop shop takes apart stolen cars to sell the parts. It is unclear how many cars may have been stolen, but Cornelius police are still investigating.
Holder was charged with felony theft of a car, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, hit and run, two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing to elude arrest and possessing a stolen firearm, the Mecklenburg County jail log said. He was released Friday, Oct. 23, after posting a $31,500 bond.
Keen was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon, theft of a car, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, hit and run, fleeing to elude arrest and reckless driving, the jail log said. He was being held at the jail on a $37,000 bond.