Family of 3 Face Multiple Felony Charges Surrounding Illegal Auto Chop Shop
Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies have taken three people into custody for their part in an organized crime ring, involving the printing of counterfeit money and running a chop shop. A press release can be seen on the Hamilton County Sheriff's Website.
The three – two men and a woman – face multiple felony charges that include:
- Theft of more than $10,000
- Theft of motor vehicle property
- Printing counterfeit money
- Setting fire to a vehicle
- Altering manufacturer’s identity
Tabitha Holder, 36, Justin Holder, 31 and Michael Robinson, age unknown, were arrested Wednesday for their alleged part.
Based upon information from the arrest affidavit, an investigation was started when a deputy pulled Robinson and Tabitha for registration violation along Dolly Pond Road. The deputy noticed that the tag on the vehicle – a Dodge Ram - wasn’t the one running back to the car. It was also the same tag that had been seen on a grey, maroon truck that evaded police during a recent pursuit.
Upon additional examination, the deputy saw that truck’s VIN plate had been detached. The deputy had gotten word that Robinson could be involved with the area’s recent vehicle thefts.
The deputy took both suspects to their property. Here, a truck that had been reported stolen in Chattanooga had been found. It was also found that it was the same truck the police had been pursuing and lost.
While on site, deputies did a search, locating another stolen truck (a Dodge) with its VIN plated removed. This truck had been stripped down and burned.
Investigators interviewed the pair, only to find that they had given inconsistent statements.
According to investigators, it wasn’t long before admitted to setting the fire on the second truck, saying he knew it had been stolen. He said he was also a part of the strip down process.
Another vehicle – a Nissan Titan – had also been stripped down and burned.
When investigators arrived to the residence, Justin Holder was already there. Justin told investigators he was just visiting. The detective asked him to leave since the area was considered a crime scene.
A search warrant was attained for the residence, which is found in the 7,000 block of Rabbit Lane, as well as other campers and vehicles at the location. Upon the serving of the warrant, deputies said Justin came back into the home and was located in the rear room. He was arrested at that time.
In the search, they uncovered a significant amount of fake money as well as a printer. They found a number of car radios with cut wires. The search of the premise also uncovered license tags that matched other vehicles.
In the investigation, deputies learned that Justin was actually the owner of the property. He has a $20,000 bond.
Tabitha, who is also known by her maiden name of Tabitha Robinson, had her bond set at $42,000.
Michael’s bond is $90,000 since he has a prior criminal record. His criminal record includes DUI, shoplifting, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault.
All three suspects are still in jail as of Thursday.