Atlanta police bust commercial truck chop shop

| 10/20/2011

Police say a trucking terminal located adjacent to a busy Atlanta street appears to have been operating a major chop shop in broad daylight.

Atlanta police received a tip last week that “suspicious activity” involving many commercial trucks was happening at a large business that appeared to be open to the public, according to Atlanta Police Department spokesman Kim Jones.

On Oct. 11, officers entered the business and immediately found a stolen 2012 Peterbilt being stripped by five suspects. Later, officers obtained a search warrant and saw two other stolen late-model Peterbilts that had been stripped by blow torches and power tools. Other trucks were in the process of being stripped.

Two trucks were brand-new 2012 models, and a third was a 2010 – valued at a total of more than $300,000. Police also found engines, transmissions, tow trucks and shipping containers used to store truck parts.

Police arrested Robert Cochran, 48; Robert Dean, 25; Charles Cochran, 20; Perry Cochran, 21; and Terry Cochran, 21, all on three counts of theft by receiving stolen property and operating a chop shop. All five were working on stripping a 2012 Peterbilt when police entered the facility.

The trucking terminal’s address, 2810 Regina Drive, is home to at least one motor carrier and a pallet technology company, according to business listings.

Atlanta is a key distribution hub for legitimate goods as well as stolen trucks.

Land Line Magazine reported on a major cargo theft task force based out of Miami in 2008. During interviews with the Miami-Dade Police Department, detectives highlighted Atlanta’s importance as a major national hub for cargo theft rings.