JURUPA VALLEY – A Jurupa Valley and a Perris man were arrested for operating a chop shop after Jurupa Valley Police officers recovered a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was located in April of 2016 and was found with a switched Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). While searching the vehicle, officers located a probation appointment card that belonged to Gerardo Monsivais, 35, of Jurupa Valley.
Officers responded to the mobile home that was within a mobile home park in the 3300 block of Avalon in the City of Jurupa Valley. During the probation search of the home, a stolen Hummer was found. A shotgun and a large amount of fictitious VIN plates and vehicle titles. The Riverside Auto-Theft Interdiction Detail (R.A.I.D.) was called to the scene to assume the investigation. Monsivais was not at home at the time of the search. Additional suspects were identified as those involved in the organized vehicle theft ring. The suspects were responsible for stolen cars and trucks from Jurupa Valley, Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Perris.
The investigation determined that Monsivais and Jose Garcia, 26, of Perris were identified as the head of the theft ring and responsible for switching VIN numbers on several of the stolen vehicles. It was also learned that Garcia and Monsivais trained minors to steal the mid-2000’s Chevrolet Silverados and Ford F-250s. The pair used juveniles due to the lesser penalties for a juvenile conviction in comparison with an adult. Fifteen suspects, including six juveniles, were arrested. Monsivais moved to avoid arrest.
On April 11, 2017, Monsivais was located hiding in the cab of a tow truck in the 3600 block of Placentia in the City of Riverside. Monsivais was arrested without further incident. Three additional VIN switched stolen vehicles were located after his arrest, including a Honda Accord, Ford F-250 and Chevrolet Silverado. A total of 37 vehicles were recovered, 24 of them Chevy or Ford pickup trucks authorities said.
Both Monsivais and Garcia remain in custody pending charges of vehicle theft, operating a chop shop, VIN tampering, and possession of stolen property. Anyone with information related to vehicle theft can report anonymously to R.A.I.D. at (951) 955-2770.
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