RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ind. — A Lynn man has been charged with 15 felonies in Randolph County Circuit Court after officials claimed he pawned off a number of stolen items from members of the community, a local business and his own father to get money for drugs.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, filed on Friday in Randolph County Circuit Court, Caleb Burkhardt was charged with:
- One count of auto theft, a Level 6 felony;
- Six counts of theft, a Level 6 felony;
- Five counts of burglary, a Level 5 felony;
- One count of possession of methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony;
- One count of possession of a narcotic drug, a Level 5 felony;
- One count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Level 4 felony.
Kailee Ward was also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit auto theft, a Level 6 felony, in relation to one of the incidents.
According to the affidavit, detectives received a number of reports of theft from Mark Burkhardt in late July and early August. Officials reported that items including an ATV, a trail camera, a chainsaw, an iPad and hedge trimmers were stolen from him. An additional burglary report from the Saratoga Cemetery reported someone had entered a locked building by breaking/cutting the lock on the door and had taken a red gas can and a red roto-tiller.
In an additional incident, a property owner indicated several tools were missing from his property. The affidavit said a pair of prescription glasses found on the property were linked back to Caleb Burkhardt. Officials later learned Caleb Burkhardt had been pawning/selling items that had been linked to these incidents at different stores in Richmond and in Dayton, Ohio.
After Caleb Burkhardt was taken into custody, an additional robbery was reported where a woman stated several items were missing from her garage, including a Black Cat air compressor, three weed eaters, a Dremel took and sets of sockets.
When officers searched the home of Caleb Burkhardt and Ward, they located the gas can, as well as the trail camera, both of which were reported stolen, as well as other items. They also found several clear baggies with drug residue and a sawed-off shotgun in the home. Both Caleb Burkhardt and Ward were detained after the search.
In an interview with Ward, officials claim she said she was with Caleb Burkhardt during the robbery at the property where the tools were stolen as well as at the cemetery. Ward then said they pawned “as much of the stolen property as they could” at various shops. A search warrant on their cell phones uncovered texts planning to steal the ATV.
“Kailee Ward indicated that she and Caleb W. Burkhardt then purchased drugs with the money from the stolen items,” the document read.
In an interview with Caleb Burkhardt, officials said he told police where the stolen ATV was and admitted to taking the chainsaw and trail cam from his father. Officials said he was previously convicted of dealing in a narcotic drug, a Level 5 felony, in June 2018 and was convicted of theft, a Class D felony, in December 2010.
According to court records, officials set a $50,000 bond for Caleb Burkhardt. No other dates related to his case have yet been scheduled.
Other court records stated a pretrial conference is scheduled for Ward at 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 and a jury trial for 9 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2024.