Homeowner uses hose to chase suspect, multiple thefts reported in Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind - Several Johnson County homeowners had their Labor Day weekends ruined by crime after discovering items stolen from vehicles and a garage.

On Sunday, a homeowner in the 2900 block of Welcome Way, in the Homecoming at University Park subdivision, called Greenwood Police to report somebody had rifled through both vehicles that had been left unlocked in his driveway.

“Came out to get something out of the car before we were getting ready to leave and just got a big pit in my stomach knowing somebody had gone through our stuff,” said the homeowner who asked to remain anonymous.

The victim assumes the thief got into his car sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning.  Items inside the cars had been tossed around.  While nothing of high value was taken, he didn’t enjoy telling his 8-year-old son why his football was gone.

“The look on his face when we told him that somebody had gone through our cars was pretty shocking to him,” he said.  “Little disheartening knowing you can live in a safe neighborhood and come out to something like that.”

He says he’ll never leave his vehicles unlocked again.

That sentiment was shared Sunday and Monday by several homeowners just east of Greenwood along the Rocklane Road corridor.

Joe Schmidt, who lives just off Rocklane Road on Campbell Road, says his wife alerted him after seeing headlights in their driveway just before 6 a.m. Monday.

“And I looked out my window, and I could see he was bent over in my truck,” Schmidt said.  “And I said, hey that (expletive) is in my truck!”

Schmidt says he ran downstairs into his garage, grabbed a short length of hose with a hard nozzle on the end, and chased the man away from his house.

“I ran him out past the driveway to the road and I hit the back of his car with it,” Schmidt said.  “It’ll have a big dent, or a big piece of paint off of it.”

Schmidt didn’t get a good look at the suspect, but said the man drove away in a small older car with rectangular headlights.

When Schmidt checked his truck, which had been left unlocked, he noticed a thumb drive and $15 in change were missing.

Investigators spent Monday morning dusting for fingerprints and gathering information in the 5000 block of Rocklane Road where two vehicles and a garage had items stolen from them.  The victim, Devon Coulter says he discovered the theft Monday morning.  Somebody had gotten into two unlocked vehicles and stolen his wallet and a pioneer stereo system.  The suspect had also taken a generator and a chainsaw from his open garage.

“People can’t get up and go to a job and get paid every two weeks, but they’re rather come and steal everyone’s stuff that they work for,” Coulter said.  “So, it’s upsetting.”

Homeowners in the 100 and 400 blocks of Griffith Road reported similar cases.  One victim reported a garage door opener stolen from his wife’s Kia Sorento.  A 9mm handgun and keys to another vehicle were also missing, while a pair of Oakley sunglasses and two iPad covers were left behind.

Another vehicle on Griffith Road had a back windshield broken out but the owner had left no valuables in the truck.  Nothing was stolen.