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Police find chop shop in Lawrenceville

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A vehicle recovery system in a stolen Acura led police this week to a chop shop operating near downtown Lawrenceville, authorities said Wednesday.

The Tuesday find marked the third chop shop Gwinnett authorities have reportedly uncovered in recent months.

The vehicle's owner, Ha Huynh, reported his 1998 Acura Integra stolen to Gwinnett police earlier Tuesday. A tracking device in the vehicle was activated, and police traced the signal to a garage behind a residence on Industrial Park Drive, near Ga. Highway 20, police said.

As an officer approached the garage, police said Bobby Sithisom, who lives at the address, fled through a rear bathroom window. He was apprehended a short time later, said Gwinnett police spokesman Officer Brian Kelly.

Detectives found the stolen car partially disassembled and spread around the garage, Kelly said. In an adjoining bay sat a 2008 Suzuki GSXR motorcycle reported stolen in Allentown, Pa., he said.

Sithisom remains at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond. He's charged with two counts of theft by receiving, operation of a chop shop, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and removing a vehicle ID, all felonies.

In November, a long-term investigation led police to a Lilburn chop shop disguised as a legitimate dealership, seizing 12 stolen motorcycles, authorities said. Police arrested the owner of the Stone Mountain Highway business.

Four others were booked on an array of charges in January when investigators unearthed a chop shop in a Suwanee garage, along with drugs and guns, police said.