Chop shop found in Houston Lake

A pair of Houston Lake residents are facing charges after an investigation into potential domestic abuse uncovered a chop shop.

Wendy Kramer, 38, was first charged in March, with the case bound over for trial in June. Kramer posted $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear back in court on Aug. 23. Ryan Barnes, 36, was charged with domestic assault in June and felony stealing in March. He posted $7,500 bond and has a plea hearing set for the theft charge, also on Aug. 23.

According to court documents, Platte County deputies responded to a house in Houston Lake on Monday, March 19 to check on Kramer’s welfare. One of Kramer’s relatives called police, concerned about her safety. She was living with Barnes, and police were told Barnes had assaulted Kramer in the past. A mutual friend had recently received a message from Kramer stating she had again been assaulted, then other messages were received stating she was fine, but the reporting party believed Barnes might be sending them from Kramer’s account.

When police arrived at the residence, Barnes told them Kramer wasn’t there and he denied police entry to check on her. They came back the next day with a search warrant and found Kramer alive and well and in possession of marijuana. Police also located a black Chevrolet pickup truck reported stolen from Kansas City. The truck had been cut apart in an apparent chop shop on the property.

Kramer and Barnes were arrested and police came back with an expanded search warrant, locating more pieces of the black truck and a blue moped reported stolen from Lawrence, Kan.

During interviews with police, Barnes said Kramer didn’t know the truck was stolen, but had posted pieces of the truck for sale on the internet because Barnes had forgotten the passwords to his accounts. However, further witness interviews stated Kramer had attempted to sell parts to several people, stating they were from a stolen truck.

On Tuesday, June 26, police returned to Barnes’ home due to another domestic assault report. While Barnes and Kramer were both told to stay separated as a condition of bond, it appeared they were living together again. The female victim told police that they had been arguing the night before, then that morning he had started yelling again. She went outside to get away from Barnes, but he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her inside. During the altercation, he allegedly choked her and she punched him in the head and threw a vase at him. The victim had several visible bruises from the assault.