LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Two Lee County men have been arrested and charged with running a chop shop operation.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office began investigating a series of thefts of Dodge pickup trucks last spring. Deputies say Fred Kobie III of Fort Myers and Brandon Jones of North Fort Myers would arrange for a third party steal the trucks and dump them in either North Fort Myers or Lehigh Acres. After a few days, they would retrieve the stolen vehicles and disassemble them either at the Kobie's business or Jones' home. Detectives say the parts would be end up for sale either at the shop or on Craigslist.
Kobie, 21, and Jones, 19, were arrested Friday night near Kobie's auto shop in Fort Myers. Both were booked into the Lee County Jail and charged with 2 counts of grand theft auto, 1 count of insurance fraud and 1 count of operating a chop shop. Kobie has an additional charge of filing a false police report.