NORTHWEST HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Seven men, who police say put fake serial numbers on stolen cars to mask the identities of the automobiles, were arrested in northwest Harris County.
The VIN (vehicle identification number) switch was uncovered when law enforcement conducted a raid on Monday at the CVM Body Shop, 11856 Zuinn St.
Investigators said they rounded up 29 suspected stolen vehicles at the auto salvage yard, each containing one of the phony serial numbers.
The seven suspects are identified as Walter Martinez, Cristian Perez, Yordanis Cruz, Mendez-Lopez, Miguel Saavedra, Alex Martinez and Carlos Ventura. The men range in age from 48 years old to 21 years old.
The men face third-degree felony charges; bail was set at $55,000 each.
The raid was conducted by the Harris County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, National Insurance Crime Bureau and Harris County Pollution Control Services. The investigation continues, according to police.