FORT WAYNE – Two men have admitted their roles in a motorcycle theft ring, pleading guilty this week in Allen Superior Court.
On Friday, Alan G. Baysinger, 42, of the 3400 block of Hoagland Avenue, pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence in exchange for a two-year prison sentence and a year on probation. A second charge of removing, covering or altering identification numbers will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Hes to be sentenced this month.
He was charged along with Todd A. Vonderau, 41, of the 2600 block of Hillegas Road; 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.
Schlatter pleaded guilty this week to the single charge of corrupt business influence.
The cases against the other defendants are pending in Allen Superior Court.
In late August, police began to investigate whether Vonderau was operating a motorcycle theft ring at his car lot, Kasper Auto Sales, 2750 Brooklyn Ave.
The motorcycles were stolen, and sold, after being repainted and sometimes fitted with a vehicle identification number belonging to a different motorcycle.
Documents were created through the auto lot, such as fraudulent bills of sale, to make it appear as though 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 vehicle identification number plates on the vehicles.
He said he was also paid a finders fee for identifying motorcycles later stolen by Impton, Schlatter or himself, 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.