SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield man has been charged with eight felonies after being accused of running a chop shop out of his home.
According to court documents, the Springfield Police Department electronically surveilled James Douglas Cooley for months while investigating his alleged chop shop operation.
During that time, officers saw multiple stolen vehicles at Cooley’s residence that were spray painted to hide their original colors and had vehicle identification numbers (VINs) removed or altered. Several cars were disposed of at a scrap yard, with Cooley collecting money for the scrap metal.
Thirteen vehicles were seized when SPD executed a search warrant in February 2023, but documents state Cooley’s activities continued. Additional search warrants were executed in March and September where officers found additional stolen vehicles including a car, a truck, four motorcycles, a trailer and two additional vehicles with their VINs removed. A stolen hand gun was also found.
Cooley has been charged with five felony counts of first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle and three felony counts of altering or removing item number to deprive lawful owner.
Court documents also show Cooley has a track record of failing to appear in court. Those documents show Cooley has missed court dates eight times between 2017 and 2023.
The court is requesting Cooley be held on a $25,000 bond.