Crash on near south side involving IMPD officer leaves 2 injured, arrest made

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INDIANAPOLIS– A woman is listed in serious condition after her vehicle was struck by an IMPD patrol car in pursuit of a stolen truck on the city’s southside Wednesday night.

An IMPD patrolwoman also suffered minor injuries in the collision at West Troy Avenue and South Bluff Road.

The officer was pursing a stolen U-Haul truck allegedly being driven by Matthew Winkler, 27, who was arrested after his vehicle was involved in a crash a short distance away.

Police said they recovered ammunition from the stolen truck and found a gun investigators believe Winkler tossed away.

Winkler is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, resisting law enforcement, auto theft and leaving the scene of an accident.

IMPD is reviewing the chase to determine if it met department pursuit policies.

“Our internal affairs investigators responded and they will look at the circumstances surrounding the crash. They will look at the speeds at which the officer was driving, any body camera footage that might be available,” said Lt. Shane Foley. “They’ll pull the radio traffic to see what information did the officer provide, what information did a supervisor back on the run or acknowledge the run.”

The operator of a southside U-Haul franchise told FOX59 that more than a half-dozen of his trucks have been stolen in the last month, often by burglars.

“Bunch of junkies stealing vehicles, going around breaking into things, joyriding,” he said.

A handful of stolen vehicles have been recovered. The truck involved in Wednesday night’s pursuit had only recently been reported stolen.

The franchise operator said that at $20 a day, his trucks are more functional, more readily available and cost a fraction of a typical rental car.

“It’s cheaper than renting a car but they come in with the proper credentials,” said the operator who said he didn’t know if his U-Haul trucks were being stolen off the lot or not returned on time or if the thieves are gaining access to the ignition keys in another fashion.

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