Hartford Man Suspected Of Running Chop Shop

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Stories of items being stolen across KELOLAND have dominated the headlines over the last few weeks. Authorities say they stumbled upon a property crime they don’t often see here.

Now an 18-year-old Hartford man is charged with playing a role in a chop shop.

Mitchell German is facing multiple felony counts, including grand theft. 

According to the Minnehaha Sheriff’s Department says German was receiving stolen cars and dismantling them for parts in two storage units south of I-90. Deputies were able to search the units thanks a post on social media. 

Inside these storage units sat stolen vehicles from Sioux Falls. Sgt. Jason Gearman with the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department says the suspect was targeting high-end motors from Honda Civics. Gearman says one of the victims of the crime posted a picture of his stolen vehicle on Facebook, when he got some information he wanted to hear. 

“Original victim I believe put something out on Facebook that his car was missing and then he was contacted by somebody who said hey you should go look out here at this specific person,” Gearman said. 

The victim came to the area and noticed his vehicle and called law enforcement. Deputies found two stolen vehicles and parts in one unit. Law enforcement then found more stolen property in another unit nearby.

Today in court, the prosecution said when deputies approached German, he was very open about running a chop shop. Gearman isn’t sure what the suspect was planning on using the parts or the vehicles for, but he says if you buy these type of items, make sure you know what you’re getting. 

“Do your research on these before you buy something. If it feels odd it probably is,” Gearman said. 

While burglaries and stolen items have been happening across the area, Gearman says this incident isn’t linked to other suspected criminals like Micah Buum or Tanner Dvorak.

“There’s no connection here. This is a totally different group,” Gearman said. 

But he did say German might be the only one involved in this case, and there could be more arrests coming soon. 

Today German made his initial court appearance was released from jail on a PR Bond. According to the prosecution, the 18 year-old doesn’t have any other adult convictions.  

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