BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. – A Bartholomew County man is accused of stealing more than $3,500 in ammunition from a Shelbyville store.

According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were alerted to the theft of a large amount of ammunition around 8:40 p.m. on Friday, July 22. It happened at the Rural King store in Shelbyville.

Deputies spotted the vehicle linked to the theft and initiated a traffic stop on North Marr Road. They took the suspect, identified as 39-year-old John Cornett of Hope, into custody without further incident.

When police searched the Chevy HHR he was driving, they found multiple cases of ammunition in the back seat. Police released a photo showing cardboard boxes in the back of his vehicle.

According to court documents, a caller notified dispatchers after seeing a man, later identified as Cornett, take a cart full of ammunition without paying for it.

When police talked to the manager, he said Cornett walked out of the store talking on his phone and it sounded like he was “in a hurry to get somewhere.” The manager said Cornett drew attention because of the large amount of ammunition in his cart.

An employee told police he “did not have anyone check out ammunition from him in his section,” according to the probable cause affidavit. The manager took a photo of the license plate on the Chevy HHR Cornett had gotten into and was able to provide the information to dispatchers.

Surveillance video showed Cornett putting a total of six ammunition cases in his cart. A small toddler was also in the cart, according to court documents.

Deputies from Bartholomew County later found Cornett’s vehicle and stopped him. All six boxes of ammunitions were still inside the vehicle. Cornett informed police that a “guy named Jack on a phone app called Kik” told him he would get a discount at Rural King and “all he had to do” was push the cart out of the store.

A friend was supposed to pay for the ammunition, Cornett told police. Surveillance video, however, showed him entering the store with just himself and a toddler in the cart. Cornett did tell police he left the store without paying for the merchandise.

Cornett was taken to Shelby County and released into the custody of the Shelbyville Police Department. He’s charged with theft. In addition, police issued a trespass warning at Rural King’s request.

Shelbyville police returned the ammunition to the store. The merchandise, with tax, had a total value of $3,744.54, according to court documents.

Seized from Cornett’s vehicle were:

  • 1 case containing 20 boxes (50 rounds) of Blazer 9mm- $19.99 per box
  • 1 case containing 20 boxes (50 rounds) of Blazer .40- $29.99 per box
  • 1 case containing 1,000 loose rounds of Winchester 5.56- $629.99 per case
  • 3 cases containing 1,000 loose rounds of Remington .223- 649.99 per case