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2 more implicated in motorcycle theft ring

Two additional people were charged Friday with participating in a motorcycle theft ring, including the owner of the used-car lot at the center of the scheme.

According to documents filed in Allen Superior Court on Friday, Todd A. Vonderau, 41, of the 2600 block of Hillegas Road, is charged with corrupt business influence and conspiracy to remove, alter or cover an identification number. Both counts are Class C felonies.

Also charged was Alan G. Baysinger, 42, of the 3400 block of Hoagland Avenue. He faces charges of corrupt business influence and removing, covering or altering vehicle identification numbers.

The two men join four others charged Thursday with participating in the criminal enterprise: Richard L. Schlatter, 35, of the 1600 block of Steup Avenue; Richard Carl King, 36, of the 2000 block of Emerson Avenue; Angela Ruth Martin, 33, of the 2800 block of Hillegas Road; and Jerrad W. Impton, 39, of the 2500 block of Hillegas Road.

In late August, police began to investigate whether Vonderau was operating a motorcycle theft ring out of his car lot, Kasper Auto Sales, 2750 Brooklyn Ave.

The bikes were stolen, and sold, after being repainted and sometimes fitted with a VIN belonging to a different motorcycle. Documents were created through the auto lot, such as fraudulent bills of sale, to make it appear as if the motorcycles were legitimately purchased.

When police searched addresses connected to the thefts, they found a number of stolen vehicles, including motorcycles, a tow truck and cars, according to court documents.

Baysinger told police that Vonderau was the leader of the criminal enterprise and that Vonderau paid him $200 to change the VIN plates on the vehicles.

He said he was also paid a finder’s fee for identifying motorcycles later stolen by Impton, Schlatter or himself, according to court documents.

King was pulled over for speeding in July. The motorcycle he was riding had a VIN that did not match the motorcycle’s license plate.

Later, Martin showed up at a tow lot to reclaim the bike, presenting documentation that the motorcycle was being repossessed by Kasper Auto Sales.

Her records contained the mismatched VIN, according to court documents.

The VIN belonged to a motorcycle frame sold over eBay to Impton using someone else’s eBay account. The frame was in the custody of a motorcycle parts dealer in Florida after the Kasper Auto sale date provided by Martin, according to court documents.

While Vonderau denied being directly involved in selling stolen motorcycles, he admitted to suspecting Impton and Schlatter were involved in something “illegal,” according to court documents.

The charge of corrupt business influence accuses the group of participating in the activities of a criminal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering, in this case involving two or more acts of receiving stolen property.

rgreen@jg.net

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