Smicksburg man faces chop shop charges
WEST MAHONING TOWNSHIP — A Smicksburg man has been charged with running an illegal chop shop at his Hemlock Acres Road home.
State police with the auto theft unit charged Ronald Duane Hartzfeld, 50, on March 28 with eight counts of operating a chop shop at 1134 Hemlock Acres Road between Jan. 1, 2009, and March 28, and five counts of receiving stolen property.
Police said investigators found a Ford dump truck with an altered VIN plate that had been removed from another vehicle on the property in West Mahoning Township; the truck had been reported stolen and had been repainted.
Police also found a Ford F-150 without a VIN plate; a Gehl 4640 skid steer and a Kubota HST L3240 tractor loader, both without their product identification number plates and both reported stolen; a Ford F550 crane hoist truck that had been reported stolen; a US Cargo box trailer without its VIN plate that had been reported stolen; and a black dual-axle utility trailer with its VIN plate removed.
Hartzfeld was arrested and held in the Indiana County Jail on a $75,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing in Magistrate George Thachik’s office in Clymer was scheduled for Monday.