The Louisiana State Police identified a suspected chop shop in the 8000 block of Bass Street in the middle of a residential street in the Little Woods neighborhood in New Orleans East.
They arrested Edwin Smith, 32, on five counts of possession of stolen vehicles, totaling nearly $50,000.
The LSP also connected Smith to another suspected chop shop in the 16000 block of Chef Menteur Highway.
Stephen Bradford runs a nearby towing company.
"There was a bunch of cars, a couple of trailers, different equipment, they would steal anything," Bradford said.
Smith's arrest points to a growing problem in New Orleans. NOPD crime stats indicate car theft is up about 13 percent year over year. So far this year, there have been just more than 2,600 car thefts in the city. That's compared nearly 2,300 for all of last year.
Parker Ellis from the New Orleans insurance agency Gillis, Ellis & Baker said car theft is one of the reasons why Louisiana has the second most expensive car insurance rates in the country.
"As we see more and more of that, insurance companies start to wonder do we need to raise rates across the whole book of business because this is an unsafe place to have a car," Ellis said.
Individual policy holders could also see a substantial rate increase.
"They've had a good claim record, good driver, suddenly their car gets stolen and now we've got a $30,000 claim on our hands," Ellis said. "That effects their renewal premiums. You could be look at 5 to 10 percent rate increased for something that's not even your fault."
Back in the east, Bradford wants the city to crackdown on car theft.
"People work for their cars, their hard earned money and these crooks just do whatever the want," Bradford said.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, here are the top five vehicles thieves are stealing in Louisiana.
The list includes the 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck, 2006 Ford pickup, 2006 Honda Accord, 2014 Toyota Camry and 2012 Nissan Altima.