Guilt By Association – Motorcycle Shop Owner Beats the Rap in Redding
“I’m just glad it’s over with,” Gary Kenerson said this week. “I was innocent from the start and I’m innocent through the end.”
Kenerson, A California motorcycle repair shop owner, is off the hook in a case which alleged he was selling stolen motorcycle parts and was wrapped up with the notorious Vagos motorcycle gang. The coppers said Vagos members were often seen at the shop and the gang’s black and green colors adorn the shop’s sign and the colors on Kenerson’s employee uniforms, and apparently, that was enough to haul Kenerson in.
It wasn’t however, enough to keep him.
“It was a witch hunt for other people and they were going through me to get to them,” Kenerson said.
The Shasta County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges Monday against Kenerson, the owner of Gary’s Motorcycle Services Center in Redding, CA. Kenerson was arrested last year on suspicion of running a chop shop, but now Deputy District Attorney Craig Omura said he had no way to prove that Kenerson knew motorcycle parts found on May 2010 at his hop were stolen. Another Shasta County judge dropped the drug charges lodged against Kenerson early last year.
CHP authorities said they suspected Kenerson of being an associate of the Vagos motorcycle gang, but Kenerson maintained that he was a member of the Vagos decades ago but his only association with club members at this point comes when he repairs their bikes.
According to CHP records, the authorities say Kenerson relies on Vagos as his customer the shop’s sign and uniforms feature Vagos’ black and green colors. The problems for Kenerson began when a CHP officer said he noticed several motorcycle parts with missing serial numbers. That led officers to seize the motorcycle parts and a switchblade knife from the store. They say they also hauled in a .22-caliber rifle, a .22-caliber pistol, a baggie with trace amounts of methamphetamine and two bottles of pain pills during that raid.
Kenerson says none of the seized bike parts were stolen. “I’m not going to jeopardize my business by dealing in stolen parts,” he says.
Kenerson has said in the 13 years he’s run the business, he’s abided by the law, and he’s adamant he’s not running a chop shop.
The ordeal has cost Kenerson legal fees and the business of people who didn’t want to bring their bikes into his shop after the arrest, he said.
“I couldn’t pinpoint it, but I’d say in the thousands (of dollars) in lost business,” Kenerson said Monday.