LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro police have arrested a man in an investigation after “Frankenstein vehicles” were discovered in his daughter’s backyard.
New details have been released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department following the arrest of a man accused of running an illegal gas business and possession of stolen vehicles from across the Las Vegas valley.
According to an arrest report Jose Hernandez, 48, is accused of modifying several different vehicles to store gas on his property.
Police initially began investigating Hernandez after his daughter made a call to police stating her father had broken into her home and stolen her dog on April 5.
Once officers arrived they searched the home and discovered a Ford F350 in the backyard that had been reported stolen in August from a Las Vegas Strip hotel, along with a Dodge pickup reported stolen in Henderson in March.
His daughter told police that Hernandez often works on vehicles in the backyard, and added that he would purchase gasoline and then sell it at a profit, according to the arrest report.
As officers continued their investigation in the backyard, they say they found several vehicles in different stages of disassembly and what resembled a chop shop. They also found several trailers with VIN numbers removed.
Detectives said they refer to the modified vehicles as “Frankenstein’s” due to several different parts being removed and then added to different frames. They say it is a known tactic used by suspects to disguise vehicles.
Police eventually located Hernandez in Jean, Nevada, later that evening and took him into custody.
According to the arrest report, Hernandez admitted to police that he knew the Dodge was stolen and found a firearm inside the vehicle.
During an interview with police Hernandez also stated that he used the vehicles to make “fuel trucks” for his illegal fuel business.
Hernandez now faces charges including, owning or operating a vehicle chop shop, and possession or transfer of stolen vehicles.
Note: On Thursday, LVMPD released details on three individuals who had been arrested for gas theft crimes across the valley, which is separate from Hernandez’s case.