Police arrest two after vehicle break-ins, car chase

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. - Thieves targeting shoppers are behind bars. Plainfield police have two under arrest, after a chase Tuesday afternoon to Avon.

They said those two suspects are responsible for a series of smash and grab heists in a Plainfield shopping center.

In Tuesday's thefts, three cars had their windows smashed out and possessions inside stolen. An additional car was unlocked, making its contents ripe for the taking.

"You always have to watch out around the holidays," said Leann Rompke, a shopper.

Sixteen days before Christmas, and Plainfield police were hot on the heels of two grinches on Tuesday afternoon.

"There's so much meanness, so much meanness in the world now," said Linda Isenbert, a shopper.

Police got a tip just before 1 p.m. from the Metropolis shopping center in Plainfield. Victims in a movie theater parking lot found their cars burglarized. In three cases the windows were smashed out.

Investigators listened for the description of the car, a white minivan, and they tracked it to the Ronald Reagan Parkway, in what became a chase to nearby Avon.

Police said one suspect ran inside Bed Bath & Beyond in Avon, while the other hid behind a nearby business. A police dog bit the man that hid on the arm.

"These are exactly what they're looking for, they're going around and looking at multiple parked cars to see what's of value in them," said Lt. Gary Tanner, with the Plainfield Police Department.

Tanner said police have worked break-ins of this type in Plainfield since the spring. They're trying to determine if the suspects are responsible.

"It's possible our detectives are looking into that at this time, if they can link those certain cases, we can sure clear up a lot of prior thefts," said Tanner.

The van is sealed off, as investigators await a search warrant. They tell FOX59 more stolen property is inside.

"Growing up out here, you do think it's safe in Plainfield, all of those areas, but the city is expanding outward, and people are desperate in times like this," said Rompke.

Tanner said Marco Smith, 50, is behind bars in Hendricks County facing multiple theft charges. Investigators are still working to determine the identity of the other man, who may have provided a fake name.

Police also tell FOX59 the thefts on Tuesday are unrelated to thefts that we reported on in a story last week.

Another law enforcement agency also tells FOX59 there's a possibility this duo may be implicated in crimes in their county. We expect to learn more information on Wednesday.