An undercover eBay sting helped police smash open a £240,000 stolen car parts racket.
The covert operation led to the discovery of a "chop shop" hidden in a converted mill, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Police had scrutinised Asad Mahmood's eBay account in November 2018 as car parts were being sold off on it.
Officers posed as buyers and bought the parts, which turned out to be from stolen vehicles. A raid was carried out on the mill in Bury, Greater Manchester, which revealed a huge "chop shop" full of vehicle body parts and engines stripped from stolen cars.
The parts were linked to 20 vehicles stolen between July 2018 and August 2019 from across Greater Manchester, Leeds, Lancashire and Hull.
Mahmood, 31, of Oldham, was jailed for four years at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods between June 2018 and August 2019.
Police swooped on Mahmood's home on August 14, 2019, where two vehicles, a VW Golf and a Citroen Dispatch van were also found and seized.
Officers discovered that the Golf had been rebuilt using stolen car parts and the Citroen van was revealed to have been reported stolen.
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Detective Chief Inspector Chris Mossop, of Greatest Manchester Police, said: "Mahmood clearly had sophisticated set up and if it wasn't for the dedication of GMP's officers, Mahmood's handling may have long continued. We're pleased he has been brought to justice.
"We remain committed to tackling burglary and targeting those responsible for stealing cars and handling them. A lot of the work we do to tackle the issue may not be visible but catching those responsible remains one of our priorities.
"Cars are of both great value and sentimental value to some people and we understand that having a car stolen can have a huge impact both financially and emotionally.
"We will continue to work to bring offenders to justice, but I would ask that residents help us to help them by following our simple advice – do not leave your car keys on show or where they can easily be reached when at home, always keep your windows and doors locked and for anyone who has a steering lock, I would encourage you to use it.
"There are also other ways to help keep your car safe such as investing in a tracking device."
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