18-Year-Old Hartford Man Behind Bars For Allegedly Running Chop Shop

Minnehaha County Sherriff's Office: 'The frame and some parts are basically all that's left.'

A Hartford man is behind bars after authorities say he was running a chop shop just south of town. The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office says a tip from a victim led to his arrest.

Social media played a huge role in the arrest of 18-year-old Mitchell German. The sheriff’s office says the victim of a stolen vehicle, received information over Facebook that his car was at a storage unit near Hartford.

Sgt. Jason Gearman says they served search warrants at two storage units registered to German Thursday. They uncovered two stolen vehicles, a Honda Civic and Acura, at a unit on Jeffrey Street, along with numerous car parts. They say an engine led them to another storage unit nearby on Ashley Street, where they found another stolen vehicle. Authorities say German was stealing Hondas, cutting them up, creating new ones and also selling parts.

Gearman said, “Their cars are parted out basically. The frame and some parts are basically all that’s left of them.”

Gearman says the cars were stolen from Sioux Falls and the crimes had likely been occurring for about a year. He also said today that there will be more arrests in connection to this case. Gearman says if you purchase a stolen vehicle and try to register it, you will be out that money. He says do your research before buying something, if it feels odd it probably is.

German is being charged with multiple counts of receiving stolen property or grand theft and intentional damage to property, which are felonies.