Gary tow firm owner charged with 26 counts relating to stolen vehicles and parts
by Lori Caldwell email@example.com October 12, 2011 4:16PM
Gary police Sgt. Mark Salazar (from left), Cpl. William Clouse and Detective Pete Baum search for identifying information on an engine during a search Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at Nakia's Auto Salvage Yard in Gary. | File photo
AT a glance
The 26 counts of auto theft and receiving stolen auto parts charged against tow yard owner Nakia Hemphill are tied to the following cars or parts recovered by the Gary Police Department:
1998 Pontiac Grand Am reported stolen March 12, 2010, from the 2600 block of Tyler Street, Gary.
1992 Toyota Camry reported stolen Jan. 13 from the 3500 block of Massachusetts Street, Gary.
2011 Honda Accord reported stolen Feb. 19 from the 1700 block of Harrison Street, GAry.
2001 Dodge Ram truck reported stolen Feb. 28 in Michigan City. The hood and doors were found in Hemphill’s lot.
1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass reported stolen May 23 in Hammond. The engine and transmission were in the lot.
2004 Lincoln LS reported stolen June 1 in Merrillville. The front half of the car was at Hemphill’s tow yard.
1996 GMC Yukon reported stolen June 17 in Calumet City, Ill. Part of the frame, the engine and transmission were recovered.
1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass reported stolen June 30 in Merrillville. It was partially stripped.
1997 Pontiac Grand Prix reported stolen July 4 in Alsip, Ill. The vehicle identification number had been altered.
2002 Dodge Stratus reported stolen July 16 in Calumet City, Ill.
1996 Chevrolet van reported stolen July 17 in Lansing, Ill. Part of the frame, the engine and transmission were recovered.
1997 Chevrolet Blazer reported stolen July 18 in Calumet City, Ill. The engine, transmission and part of the frame were recovered.
2001 Dodge Neon reported stolen July 19 in Merrillville.
1997 Chevrolet truck reported stolen July 21 from the 1500 block of East 36th Place, Gary. It had been crushed.
1997 Dodge Caravan reported stolen reported stolen July 21 from the 2500 block of West 25th Avenue, Gary.
1996 Chevrolet Tahoe reported stolen July 23 in Merrillville. It was crushed.
2000 Plymouth Voyager reported stolen July 23 from a handicapped spot in front of the owner’s home. It was crushed.
1997 Pontiac Grand Prix reported stolen July 23 from the 300 block of Clark Road, Gary.
1999 Plymouth Voyager reported stolen July 23 from the 3500 block of Johnson Street, Gary.
1987 Oldsmobile reported stolen July 23 in East Chicago. It was crushed.
1998 Pontiac Grand Prix reported stolen July 23 from the 4100 block of Lincoln Street, Gary. It had been crushed.
1988 Oldsmobile Regency reported stolen July 23 from the 2000 block of Clark Road, Gary. It had been crushed.
1997 Chevrolet Tahoe reported stolen July 24 from the 400 block of South Huntington Street, Gary.
1999 Dodge Intrepid reported stolen July 24 from the 5600 block of Cypress Avenue,Gary.
2000 Dodge Caravan reported stolen July 25 in Merrillville.
Updated: November 16, 2011 2:05PM
GARY — Nakia Hemphill, the owner of Nakia’s Towing, will be held in jail without bond when he is arrested on 26 felony counts charged against him on Wednesday.
Hemphill, 36, 20 E. 20th Place, has been the target of numerous auto theft investigations and has two other felony cases pending for possession of stolen auto parts.
The new cases — 17 counts of auto theft and nine counts of receiving stolen auto parts — stem from the discovery on July 24 of a Maryland man’s stolen car parked in Hemphill’s lot at 650 W. Ninth Ave.
Police found the man’s black Dodge Intrepid when his GPS was activated.
Near the stolen car was a tow truck with a magnetic sign on the side advertising Hemphill’s tow firm.
“During my investigation I had received multiple reports up to that point of a red tow truck stealing cars in the city of Gary,” Detective Cpl. William Clouse stated in the probable cause affidavit.
After obtaining a search warrant, police spent three days in the tow yard identifying cars, trucks and motors stored there.
“We also located several cars stacked on top of each other next to a portable crusher and after checking the vehicle identification numbers on those vehicles, seven of them were discovered to be stolen,” court records state.
Police also found a stolen car that had been partially burned but was missing its VIN number and federal identification number and another car that had been “re-tagged” with the wrong VIN, the affidavit states.
Hemphill was charged in April with receiving stolen auto parts and in August with burglary and receiving stolen auto parts.
All open felony matters are pending before Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray.
Reach Lori Caldwell at 648-3258.