One of the owners of Anderson's Rental & Sales has been charged with receiving and possessing stolen property after investigators searched the business just outside of Blue Springs last month.
David Vink, 57, has been charged with receiving stolen property and 11 counts of possessing altered or falsified property. According to court documents, investigators who searched Anderson's found tools and trailers with altered or removed serial numbers or that were known to be stolen, with a total value of nearly $40,000. He was arrested Monday.
On Dec. 18, Blue Springs Police, working with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol, searched the business at the southwest corner of Missouri 7 and Wyatt Road, just outside the city. At that time, police said an initial investigation of stolen tools from a single truck a few weeks earlier “resulted in tips that led to an individual at Anderson's Rental & Sales who was purchasing stolen tools.” Further undercover investigation led to enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant.
According to court documents, Vink was away making deliveries when investigators arrived but his wife as the business. He arrived about 4:45 p.m. as investigators finished their search and asked what they were doing and if he needed an attorney.
Vink told police that when he buys a trailer there is no VIN plate on and the manufacturer just sends him a sticker and he doesn't put it on, adding that he owned all the trailers in the lot. Police said they had confirmed some of the trailers and tools were stolen, then told Vink he didn't have to talk any more with police and could ask them to leave if he wanted.
Police then told Vink of the undercover operation and asked him about two enclosed trailers reported stolen. Vink said he'd had them for more than 10 years, but police said they were stolen in the last three or four years. Vink said someone else had been storing stuff in a trailer determined to be stolen.
According to court documents, Vink then said another reason his trailers don't have serial numbers is that customers take them off or bring back different equipment than what was rented. When police asked why he didn't check the VINs or serial numbers upon return, Vink couldn't answer other than to say he's not always there.
Police say they are trying to find VINs for 13 trailers, and all others except one that were confirmed stolen hav been returned to right owners. Police are still trying to ID the owner of the last one. All but two confirmed stolen tools have been returned to rightful owners.
Bond for Vink has been set at $10,000. He waived his initial appearance and pleaded not guilty, according to court records.