PHOENIX — State and county authorities accused a recycling company with salvage yards in Phoenix, Coolidge and Tucson of buying stolen cars for the scrap metal.
More than 12 people had been arrested Wednesday as part of Operation Tin Man, which focused on Hendrix and Co. Recycling, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
“They provided opportunities for people that steal cars to dispose of those vehicles,” DPS Capt. Bruce Campbell said.
Authorities said they served 15 warrants at salvage yards owned by Hendrix.
“If you’ve got stolen silverware, people know where the crooked pawnshops might be,” Campbell said. “Same thing with recyclables and salvage yards.”
DPS Director Robert Halliday said charges will include trafficking stolen property, fraudulent schemes, money laundering, conspiracy and operation of a criminal enterprise.
There was no answer late Wednesday afternoon at Hendrix and Co. Recycling’s office in Phoenix. A message said the voice mail was full.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Pinal County Attorney’s Office have been working on the case for 15 months.
“Currently, there are four cases that have been charged out of this investigation involving employees of Hendrix Recycling Co., as well as family members of the Hendrix family,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said.
“This should serve as a warning to anybody else who is contemplating or currently engaged in widespread criminal activity,” he said.