'Boat Chop' shops popping up in Hidalgo County

"Boat Chop" a rising trend

After a month TMs long investigation, San Juan police arrested David Torres, Jr. and charged him with theft.

Investigators told Action 4 News they confiscated a stolen boat trailer and other goods from Torres TM Edinburg home late Tuesday night.

They said he would steal boats and trailer and then sell off the parts.

It is part of a quick growing trend of ~Boat Chop TM shops in Hidalgo County they said.

"What we're seeing is that they're chopping them up. They're taking everything apart and stealing whatever they find inside the boat, Sergeant Rudy Luna explained. They will take fishing poles, ores, whatever you have in there"they will sell it.

Luna said the hottest commodity on a boat is the motor.

"It's something that is hard for someone to identify, Luna said. You don't have to register the motor. After that, they get rid of the boat....we've recovered boats where they just leave the boat, it TMs completely stripped, and the trailer."

This recent discovery came about after a month TMs long investigation into three stolen boats in the San Juan area.

According to police the boats were all stolen right off the owners property.

One of those trailers was being sold on Craig TMs List.

It was only after the buyer of the trailer attempted to register it that red flags started to pop up.

"He tried to register the trailer under his name, Luna said. That's when it came back that it was stolen."

Police were able to trace the sale of the boat trailer back to David Torres, Jr. and charged him with theft.

Investigators do not believe he acted alone.

"We're working with other agencies to see if we can link this male subject with other thefts," Luna said.