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Lexington man accused of operating chop shop

LEXINGTON, S.C. – Lexington County deputies have arrested a man charged in connection to the operation of an alleged chop shop near Pelion.

Stephen Johnson Craft II, 41, is charged with two counts of removing of falsifying vehicle identification numbers, according to arrest warrants.

“Investigators found a camper stashed on property in the 700 block of Highway 178 Monday,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “The camper had obviously been repainted and its identification number had been removed.”

Detectives also found a stolen church trailer at the same location, according to Koon.

“The church trailer’s ID number was scratched off and detectives found pieces of the number plate on the ground under the trailer,” Koon said. “Investigators arrested Craft on the spot and transported him to the Lexington County Detention Center.”

The investigation into the alleged chop shop is still open. Koon said anyone with information about it can remain anonymous when they share a tip by calling Crimestoppers at 888-Crime-SC, logging onto www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and clicking on the "Submit a tip" tab, or by downloading the P3 Tips app for their Apple or Android device.

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