SAN ANTONIO -

A in-car system, better known for helping drivers find directions or get roadside assistance, proved to be a valuable tool for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.  It not only helped deputies track down a stolen vehicle, but uncover something even bigger.

Detectives believe the yard where they found the stolen vehicle Monday night was being used as a “chop shop,” a site where stolen cars are stripped of their parts.

According to a sergeant with the sheriff’s auto theft unit, deputies went to the property on FM 1346 near Foster Road, around 10:30 p.m. Monday after getting a call from a company called OnStar. 

Known for its little blue button inside some vehicles, OnStar is a satellite-aided system that puts drivers in touch with live operators who, most often, are asked to provide services such as calling a tow truck or finding a restaurant.

Detectives, however, received a call from the company that helped them. A stolen Chevy Tahoe apparently had been outfitted with OnStar, and the company used it to locate the vehicle.

Deputies were then sent to the location where they discovered the suspected chop shop. 

They also arrested Mark Washington, 36, on three counts of theft of a vehicle.

Investigators said along with the Tahoe, they found a stolen forklift and parts of three stolen pickups on his property. They said Washington had installed some of the stolen parts on his own truck.

He was booked into the Bexar County jail early Tuesday morning with bonds totaling $15,000.