Warrant has been issued for arrest of Indiana man

An Indiana man who has been incarcerated in Illinois has been charged with breaking into the Martin Ford dealership in Union Grove and stealing auto parts, tools and a truck back in May 2018.

Jeffery Vlietstra, 55, is charged with burglary of a building or dwelling, operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent, possession of burglarious tools, entry into a locked coin box and criminal damage to property.

All of the charges are filed against Vlietstra as a party to a crime, meaning others were also involved in the alleged burglary and additional charges may be forthcoming.

Vlietstra and two other men – cousins Michael Gray and Steven Gray, of the Chicago area – are charged in a similar break-in that occurred a month earlier at Performance Tire and Auto in Burlington.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Racine County Circuit Court, an investigator with the Racine County Sheriff’s Office and a detective from the Burlington Police Department spoke to Vlietstra regarding both cases at the Stateside Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, on Aug. 27, 2018.

Vlietstra was incarcerated a month earlier on Illinois charges including felony title/registration possession offenses and aggravated fleeing, records indicate.

According to the Racine County complaint, Vlietstra and Michael Gray drove to Union Grove on May 17, 2018, and Gray dropped him off at the dealership then parked at the Mobil gas station across the street to serve as a lookout.

Vlietstra used a pry bar to enter a service door at the back of Martin Ford and brought several storage containers with him that would be used to transport the items he stole, the complaint alleges.

In addition to taking several containers full of auto parts and tools, Vlietstra admitted to opening a cash box to look for money. He also found keys to a 2013 Ford F250 pickup truck on a rack in the showroom and took the truck as well, according to the complaint.

Vlietstra failed to report to court for his initial appearance Dec. 5 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.