Gary Businessman Charged With Vehicle Parts Thefts
December 2, 2014 — A 39-year-old Gary towing company owner faces 15 criminal charges, after police allegedly found stolen car parts at the business.
Officers were led to Nakia Hemphill’s business on Van Buren Street after a man driving a reported stolen vehicle was stopped by Merrillville officers.
According to court documents, Edward Perry told officers he was paid $500 to drive the vehicle to Hemphill’s towing company. Perry was charged last May with forgery, theft and auto theft. Investigators found car parts traced back to 14 stolen vehicles and one stolen motorcycle.
Most of the cars were reported stolen from Griffith, Hammond and Merrillville, but some were reported stolen in Michigan City, Lafayette, and in Harvey and Calumet City, Illinois. Some were stolen while parked outside homes and in business parking lots.
Court records show that Hemphill was charged in 2011 with 17 counts of auto theft and nine counts of receiving stolen auto parts after officers found stolen car parts and cars at the business. Those charges are still pending in Lake County Criminal Court.
[Photo of Hemphill, courtesy Lake County Jail]