FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Four people have been charged with corrupt business influence in connection with a motorcycle chop shop ring.
Richard L. Schlatter, 35; Richard Carl King, 36; Angela R. Martin, age unknown; and Jerrad W. Impton, 39, are accused of running a scheme to steal and then sell motorcycles at a local auto dealership.
The stolen motorcycles were stripped down and put back together using frames that had not been stolen and had valid VINs. The motorcycles were then sold for a profit, a witness told police.
During a routine traffic stop in August, police pulled over a motorcycle King was riding. He had no registration for the bike, and police found the VIN did not match the motorcycle’s license plate, according to court documents.
Martin, a Kasper employee, came in to claim the motorcycle from the impound lot and presented documentation that indicated the bike was being repossessed by Kasper Auto Sales. The documents contained the same VIN as the bike. But further investigation found the VIN actually belonged on a motorcycle frame sold on eBay, according to court records cited in the Journal Gazette.
That led to searches of five homes and a business, which turned up stolen items linked to a rash of motorcycle thefts over the summer.
Impton had 16 motorcycles at his residence, including inside his kitchen. Several matched the makes and models of bikes stolen in Allen County between April 5 and July 29, according to court documents.
The owner of the car dealership, Todd Vonderau, lives next door to Impton and denied being involved in the thefts, according to court documents. He has not been charged.
As of Thursday evening, there was a warrant out for Martin’s arrest.
Posted by Holly Wagner