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Springs Transmissions owner, employees charged with false reporting

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Sep 11 2012 06:42:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 12 2012 11:42:43 PM CDT

Police say two employees from Springs Transmissions totaled a customer's car, then told police it was stolen. They say the owner of the shop knew about the false report.

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -

The owner of Springs Transmissions and Automotive is facing new troubles after police said his employees totaled a customer's car and then reported it stolen.

Owner Greg Ehnes and his employees Donald McKnight and Jason White are facing misdemeanor charges of false reporting to authorities and conspiracy.

Police said McKnight and White were driving the customer's car in July when they crashed into a guardrail on I-25 in Fountain and fled the vehicle. Police said Ehnes knew about the crash as well as his employees' false report that they were held at gunpoint by two men who stole the car.

TARGET 13 Investigates spoke to the owner of the vehicle, Crystal Riese. She said Ehnes told her about the alleged car theft, but, eventually, police informed her about what they believed really happened.

"I just called my husband and I cried," said Riese. "I loved my truck."

She said her insurance company paid for a smaller vehicle that isn't conducive to her large family. She said she was responsible for a $500 deductible and other costs.

"I actually called Greg Ehnes and said 'Are you willing to help with any of this?'" said Riese. "He said he had to go do payroll, so sue him."

TARGET 13 contacted Ehnes in his shop late Tuesday. He said he believed his employees when they told him about the theft, and he never intentionally lied to police.

"I told (police) what I was told," said Ehnes. "Maybe that wasn't the truth. I just told them what the employees told me."

He also said Riese's insurance company wants to make him pay for her totaled car. He said he has not paid anything yet.

Detectives said, during their investigation, they learned that Ehnes regularly allows his employees to take customer vehicles home.

Riese said she had permitted Ehnes' mechanic to drive her car only to pick up a part.  She said she believes the employees should be facing felony theft charges, not just misdemeanor offenses.

Fountain Police are still looking for Jason White. White's girlfriend, Cassie Bernard, is  being charged with false reporting because police said she picked the two men up after the crash and lied to investigators during an interview.

Springs Transmission and Automotive is also being investigated by Colorado Springs Police for possible theft through fraudulent business practices. Police said there may be upwards of 50 victims. Click here for more information on that investigation.

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