Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18. Criminal Code § 18-4-420. Chop shop activity--ownership or operation of a chop shop--altered or removed identification number--penalties--definitions

(1) A person commits ownership or operation of a chop shop if he or she knowingly:

(a) Owns or operates a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop, or conspires with another person to own or operate a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop;

(b) Transports an unlawfully obtained motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part to or from a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop;  or

(c) Sells or transfers to, or purchases or receives from, a chop shop, knowing that it is a chop shop, an unlawfully obtained motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part.

(2) A violation of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section is a class 4 felony.  A violation of paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (1) of this section is a class 5 felony.

(3)(a) A person commits altering or removing a vehicle identification number if he or she knowingly:

(I) Removes, changes, alters, counterfeits, defaces, destroys, disguises, falsifies, forges, or obliterates the vehicle identification number, manufacturer's number, or engine number of a motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part with an intent to misrepresent the identity or prevent the identification of a motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part;  or

(II) Possesses, purchases, disposes of, sells, or transfers a motor vehicle or a major component motor vehicle part with knowledge that it contains a removed, changed, altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, or obliterated vehicle identification number, manufacturer's number, or engine number unless such motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of section 42-5-110, C.R.S .

(b) This subsection (3) does not apply to a private party or to an agent of a private party that is acting with the authorization of a law enforcement agency to lawfully seize, retain, recycle, transport, or otherwise dispose of a motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part with a vehicle identification number, manufacturer number, or engine number that is removed, changed, altered, counterfeited, defaced, destroyed, disguised, falsified, forged, or obliterated.

(4) Altering or removing a vehicle identification number is a class 5 felony.

(5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) “Chop shop” means any building, lot, facility, or other structure or premise where:

(I) Any person or persons possess, receive, store, disassemble, or alter, including the alteration or concealment of any identifying feature or number, an unlawfully obtained motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part for the purpose of using, selling, or disposing of the motor vehicle or major component motor vehicle part;  or

(II) Two or more unlawfully obtained motor vehicles are present for the purpose of alteration, sale, or disposal;  or

(III) Six or more unlawfully obtained major component motor vehicle parts from two or more motor vehicles are present for the purpose of alteration, sale, or disposal.

(b) “Major component motor vehicle part” means any of the following parts of a motor vehicle:

(I) The engine;

(II) The transmission;

(III) A front fender;

(IV) The hood;

(V) Any door allowing entrance to or egress from the passenger compartment of the vehicle;

(VI) The front or rear bumper;

(VII) A rear quarter panel;

(VIII) The deck lid, tailgate, or hatchback;

(IX) The trunk floor pan;

(X) The cargo box of a pickup truck;

(XI) The frame, or if the vehicle has a unitized body, the supporting structure or structures that serve as the frame;

(XII) The cab of a truck;

(XIII) The body of a passenger vehicle;

(XIV) An airbag or airbag assembly;

(XV) A wheel or tire;  or

(XVI) Any other part of a motor vehicle that is comparable in design or function to any of the parts that have been listed, or that have been labeled with a unique traceable identification number, by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle or part.

(c) “Motor vehicle” means all vehicles of whatever description that are propelled by any power other than muscular power;  except that “motor vehicle” does not include vehicles that run on rails.

(d) “Unlawfully obtained” means obtained by theft, fraud, or deceit or obtained without the permission of the owner.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.