Archived Story

Niles car lot break-in results in jail sentence

Published 11:22am Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Niles man who broke into a Niles auto dealership in December and drove away with a used car will spend the next 90 days in jail.

Robert Lewis Hegel, Jr., 23, was sentenced Monday in Berrien County Trial Court in Niles to 15 months probation and 90 days in jail on one count of breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny and one count of unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle.

According to court documents, Hegel broke into Dominic’s Auto Sales on South 11th Street and took keys to a 2002 Ford. Then, on Dec. 24, Mishawaka, Indiana police arrested him for retail fraud at a Wal-Mart in Mishawaka. Security saw that Hegel was driving the 2002 Ford.

The owner of Dominic’s told police that Hegel had worked at the auto dealership and knew where the keys were hidden.

Also Monday:

• Todd Michael Kimberlin, 47, of Elkhart, Indiana, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing a log splitter from Tractor Supply Company in June. He was ordered to pay $1,895 in restitution to the company. Kimberlin told Judge Dennis Wiley that the only reason he steals is because he has a substance abuse problem. He then asked the judge not to send him back to prison because “all it does is make you a better criminal.”

• Samuel Mickey Chase, 40, of Buchanan, was sentenced to two years probation on one count of attempted larceny in a building. According to court documents, Chase stole tools from a family member and sold them at a pawnshop.

• Early Gerald Shepherd, 20, of Benton Harbor, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for using someone else’s debit card to make more than $300 worth of purchases in October.

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