By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A tipster helps Philadelphia police crack down on a crime spree that’s become a big business.

Two vehicles, both reported stolen, were in the process of being chopped and stripped when an alert resident called 911. Police responded within minutes and officers caught the three suspects red-handed.

Sgt. Dan Buckley explained, “Patrol did a great job, went in about 150 to 200 feet into the woods and actually observed and arrested two males in the process of chopping a white Ford pick up truck that was stolen this morning from Upper Dublin.”

Police say the third suspect ran away but did not get far. K9 units were brought in and the suspect surrendered without incident.

It happened around 7 o’clock Wednesday evening near the 2900 block of Orthodox Street in Philadelphia’s Bridesburg neighborhood.

“Adjacent to that truck was another Denali that was stolen out of the 2nd Philadelphia Police District about three weeks ago,” Sgt. Buckley added.

According to police, the three suspects were known to police, but investigators do not believe they were part of a theft ring. Police believe the culprits were instead looking for a big pay day.

“These are chopped up for their parts and they’re sold by piece and vehicles that are sold by piece are worth more than their original vehicle,” Sgt. Buckley said.

Police say the suspects were taken to Northeast Detectives to be processed for auto theft and related offenses. Police say their investigation is continuing.

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