South Bend police investigating businessman's alleged criminal enterprise
Posted: Mar 7, 2012 1:53 AM EST | Updated: Nov 5, 2014 7:45 PM EST
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Police say a Michiana businessman could be apart of a criminal enterprise and and his shop, Michiana Auto Sales, just might be a front for the underground operation.
Police arrested 53-year-old John Kline last week and hauled him to jail for forgery and procession of stolen items.
Kline's arrest last Thursday came after police found a van belonging to Open Gate Praise and Deliverance Ministries of Elkhart at a South Bend scrap yard. Indiana Auto Parts accepted the van and Kline's forged documents. The scrap yard had already stripped the van of its battery and catalytic converter when police found the stolen vehicle last week.
That is not all police found,however. Police say this was not the first time Kline had done business with the scrap yard, saying the company had accepted several forged documents during the many occasions Kline came in with cars.
Police say Kline was not acting alone, which is why police are now taking a closer look at the case. Investigators are now looking for possible co-conspirators in, what police say, may be a huge auto theft ring.
Kline owns the shop, Michiana Auto Parts, in Mishawaka and police say that is what is making it easier for Kline to take and move stolen vehicles like the church van.
Kline currently out on bail after being released from St. Joesph County Jail Saturday afternoon.
Police say they are now also investigating Indiana Auto Parts, who police say may also be involved in this alleged criminal enterprise.