Merced County man found with stolen vehicles, operating chop shop in backyard

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Motorcycles, cars even forklifts were all stolen and later found in a Merced County lot, according to sheriff's deputies.

They say the suspect, James Jason Harry, was arrested for running a chop shop behind his family's home.

"There were so many items out there that it's still an ongoing investigation for our detectives' bureau to determine what property was out there," said deputy Darryl Allen.

Allen said some of their units were patrolling the Delhi area when they noticed a suspicious person, later identified as Harry, with an off-road motorcycle.

The bike was registered as stolen, but Harry claimed it was his motorcycle.

Allen said it was when deputies went to his address on Palm Street and August Avenue when they found more than just a stolen motorcycle.

"They noticed there (were) many other stolen items...stolen vehicles, vehicles that have been chopped up, pieces of vehicle in the backyard," Allen said.

So far, deputies discovered at least seven stolen cars including a forklift reported stolen two days ago.

Harry's father says he doesn't ever go to the back of the property because he can't walk well but was shocked by what deputies told him.

"I didn't know a thing about it...didn't know a thing about it," said Larry Harry.

James Jason Harry is now booked into the Merced County Jail and faces several counts for stolen property.

Harry's father says he's just hoping his son is innocent.

"I hope he can get out of this mess. He's been arrested years before," he said. "He was doing good but then this comes up. You can only wish the best for your children."

Allen says Harry is also facing charges for felon in possession of a firearm and operating a chop shop.

Harry's father says his son has only been arrested for DUI in the past, but deputies said the suspect has a criminal history of stolen property crimes. His bond is set at $250,000.
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