Trail of Oil Leads Police to Stolen Cars, Home Based Chop Shop
Any good racer knows it as speedy dry, or kitty litter. It's the gritty, chalky pellets that come in a big bag and do a remarkable job of soaking up oil, transmission fluid and more in the shop and on the racetrack. But apparently these car thieves missed that one.
Kennewick police were able to bust a home-based car theft ring, including a crude chop shop, by following a trail of oil from a stolen stripped car.
Police began to investigate Thursday morning when they got a report of a stripped abandoned car parked near 7th and Union. The interior had been gutted of most of it's parts, as well as headlights and other external pieces. The car had a bad oil leak as well. It had been reported stolen earlier in August.
Police determined it had been pushed to it's location, based upon the pattern of the oil leak. They backtracked and the trail led to a mobile home at 723 South Volland. The leak started there, and police also found another stolen car parked in front of the home! It's believed the suspects were stealing and then stripping the cars, selling the parts.
After searching the area, they arrested 27-year-old James Whitney, 36-year-old Enrique Murillo, 32-year-old Jana Ross, as well as 28-year-old Jessica Miller and 26-year old Katherine York. Whitney, Murillo and Ross in connection with the car thefts, Miller and York on other outstanding warrants.
Police continue the investigation and believe the suspects could be related to other car thefts as well.