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Charges filed against pawn shop employee

An employee of a local pawn shop was charged Thursday for what police said what his role in encouraging people to bring him stolen merchandise he would then sell online.

Mark D. Kline, 45, of the 4900 block of Starwood Drive, is charged with corrupt business influence after a confidential informant brought items to him and claimed they were stolen, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Kline would then pay cash for the items, not enter them in a pawn shop database as required by a Fort Wayne ordinance and sell the items on the online auction website eBay, the affidavit said.

The informant told police he was present nearly a dozen times when people stole electronics from Meijer and took them to Kline at Bib B’s Gold Rush, according to the report.

Kline would pay people cash for the items and sell them for a much greater profit online, according to the informant’s statements to police.

Detectives worked with the informant and had him take electronics to the store in March and April, but those items never ended up in an online database for police to track pawn shop items.

The detectives did, however, find the items listed on eBay, the affidavit said.

Police then interviewed an inmate at the Allen County Jail who said he saw a man named Santino A. Lombardo go to Meijer several times and steal items to sell to Kline.

Lombardo, 24, of the 600 block of Tillwater Lane, was also charged Thursday with one count of corrupt business influence.

He was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. Kline was not in custody, according to Allen County Lockup. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

cmeyers@jg.net

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