Auto shop in Fort Myers gets shut down, being investigated

Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Uptown Motors, a business along the 3900 block of Edwards Street, was raided by Fort Myers police Tuesday. The business is now shut down after multiple stolen vehicles were found at there.

Investigators think the legitimate business could have been a cover for a larger operation.

Just after 4 p.m., there were still some police at the scene, and they were referring to the property as a chop shop, but a detective we spoke to said he was not ready to label the business as such.

Investigators said they would stay at the scene until police could remove all of the stolen cars and trucks.

Details were not released about how much money the operation was worth or what types of vehicles were stripped down. Officers found two stolen semi-trucks at the auto parts shop.

Code Enforcement and Lee County Environmental Protection initially showed up to the scene to investigate a possible diesel fuel storage violation. That’s how they found multiple parts of the stolen semis.

They are also keeping people who left their cars here for legitimate reasons from picking them up.

Juan Batallon was a customer at the now-closed shop, and he can’t work without his vehicle. “No can do the work because they’re checking my truck,” Batallon said. “My business is my truck.”

“Yo dijo, I need to work tomorrow.’ They said, ‘No. I don’t care,'” Batallon said.

Batallon didn’t get any answers either.

Paul Morin is upset that he won’t have his van back. “I guess I won’t have my van on Friday,” Morin said.

Sgt. Glenn Thompson is a detective with Fort Myers Police Department. “I am hoping to get the vehicles out tonight, speak with the investigators and their jurisdictions and figure out how these vehicles got stolen and move on from there,” Glenn said.

We tried to speak with the business owner, but that didn’t happen.

Police did not arrest anyone Tuesday, and it was too early in the investigation for detectives to know if they’ve stumbled upon a major operation.

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