Police make arrest in string of Whiteland thefts

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WHITELAND, Ind. – Police have made an arrest in connection with two of the thefts that occurred in the Whiteland area earlier this week.

Christopher Mars, 27, was arrested after police found stolen property, including an iPod and chainsaw, in his vehicle.  He was also in possession of a controlled substance.  The gun and badge belonging to Johnson County Coroner, Craig Lutz, has not been recovered.

Anyone with information on Christopher Mars or any associates is asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 346-4604.

Previous story:  Police are investigating a string of early morning break-ins. It happened within a three-mile radius near the 1400 block of County Road East 600 North near Whiteland early Monday morning. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received four reports of property stolen from cars and barns.

Johnson County Coroner, Craig Lutz, was one of the victims whose vehicle was ransacked. The 16-year veteran firefighter never thought his home of four years would be a crime scene.

“This is basically my mobile office because I’m on call 24-7,” said Lutz, “They actually came down the driveway behind my home and did this.”

Lutz told investigators someone broke into his SUV and stole his personal laptop containing death investigating documents, along with his handgun and badge. He fears the burglars would be using his belongings to commit more crimes.

“In today’s world, we don’t know what people could do. We don’t know if they’re professionals. We don’t know if they’re kids,” he said.

The thieves also ran off with thousands of dollars worth of items in the neighborhood — ranging from IPods, GPSs, a violin, a case of beer, chainsaw even an ATV.

“Being in the country, you have different animals and varmints and things like that, so you sort of just let things go,” said Lutz.

Investigators do not have any suspects in the break-ins, but believe the incidents are related.