Man faces 22 charges for chop shop operation

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Larry Smallwood

Ocala, Florida — Smallwood Auto Salvage, located at 601 Southwest 27th Avenue, was determined to be a chop shop following a Florida Department of Motor Vehicle and multiple law enforcement agency inspection.

On Wednesday, following a thorough investigation, the Ocala Police Department arrested Larry Smallwood, 60, and charged him with: Dealer Failing to Notify the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and Have a Title (x9), Failure to Have Endorsed Title and Record of Sale (x9), Possession of a Vehicle without a (VIN) Vehicle Identification Number (x2), and Operating a Chop Shop. Additionally, he was charged for one count of Grand Theft Auto related to a Marion County Sheriff’s Office case.

Smallwood had been purchasing stolen vehicles for approximately $100 to $300, and then salvaging them for parts. He claimed the vehicles came in a scrap, however, one of the vehicles was a stolen 2017 Toyota Tundra. The truck had been stripped of its engine, transmission, wheels and tires, front end, exhaust, and center console.

Two of the vehicles located at the property had the VIN plates removed.

Smallwood admitted that he knew he was supposed to report the vehicles to NMVITS. He told detectives he did not do it because it was too much money.

According to the seven page arrest affidavit, DMV investigators also learned that Smallwood was not licensed to operate a salvage or tow yard.

Smallwood is being held on a $44,000 bond.

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