Police: Man’s crime spree in Kokomo included 5 businesses in less than an hour

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UPDATE (Jan 22, 2019) -- Jakob Plake pleaded guilty to burglary; all other counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. He was sentenced 6 years in prison, with a 391 days executed and the rest suspended to supervised probation.

KOKOMO, Ind. – Police arrested a Kokomo man after a crime spree that included five businesses in less than an hour.

Jakob Plake, 22, faces a long list of charges including burglary, auto theft, criminal recklessness.

Thursday morning, employees at Fast Lane Auto Sales showed up to find a shattered glass throughout the business and one of their vehicles missing.

“It was sickening. It was really sickening. Quite frankly, it’s just not fair,” said Jon Bidner, general manager at Fast Lane Auto sales.

Investigators said the crime spree started around midnight. Security cameras at Fast Lane Auto Sales showed Plake kicking in the door and then destroying whatever he could get his hands on.  Some of the broken items were irreplaceable--things the business owners have collected over 28 years.

“Why would you chastise and damage something like that just out of, I don’t know out of craziness, stupidity, narcotics?  I don’t know what it could be,” said Binder.

Footage showed the vandal making his way into the garage, finding keys and then driving off in one of the lot’s cars.  Investigators said the stolen car was traded out with another stolen car down the road at TNT Auto.

Plake supposedly used a jug meant for décor as a weapon, smashing it through windows that are now boarded up.

“The reality is you have to come back to work and you’ve got to clean up the mess and put it on. It’s disappointing to pay for somebody else’s negligence. I guess is what it boils down to,” said Trever Davis, general manager at TNT Auto.

Each of the auto businesses had thousands of dollars in damages.

“It’s demoralizing all together. We go out and spend hours on hours trying to find cars,” said Davis.

Detectives say Plake hit two nearby gas stations.  At one location he allegedly tried running over an employee. Shortly after that, police had Plake in handcuffs.

“Rightfully so, you get what’s coming to you,” said Binder.

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