MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. — Four Morgan County men are facing charges for their part in a burglary ring after a months-long investigation by the sheriff’s office.
Colton Hacker, Tommy Allbright Jr., Jakob Chadwick and Kaden Warthen are facing charges of corrupt business influence, burglary and theft among other charges.
Investigators said the four were part of a burglary ring that committed several thefts and burglaries and then sold the stolen items in order to get methamphetamine.
Two sheriff’s deputies caught a break while investigating the theft of two catalytic converters and the theft of a classic car that belonged to an elderly man.
“He reported a 1951 Ford custom stolen and it was his personal car that he had built,” Deputy Tim Coryell said. “It’s heartbreaking to go there and see that.”
Shortly after, Deputy Caleb Merriman began working a case of two catalytic converter thefts. A relative of the victim actually stumbled upon two of the people in the act and took their picture. Deputy Merriman took the picture to Deputy Coryell to see if he could identify them.
“I knew them and I picked them out right away and the lightbulb went off in my head,” Deputy Coryell said. “‘Hey those are the same suspects that are in my burglary.'”
The two men in the photo were Jacob Chadwick and Colton Hacker. They were also suspects in the theft of that classic car.
Not too long after, Deputy Merriman found Chadwick driving the same truck in the pictures he obtained from the catalytic converter theft investigation. Chadwick was brought in for questioning, according to court documents.
“He ended up providing a full confession to not only being involved in the theft, but the burglary in the auto theft case and various other cases here in Martinsville,” Deputy Merriman said.
Investigators said they found answers to numerous other cases in Morgan County that were unsolved as well as unsolved cases in Marion, Johnson and Monroe counties.
“We had a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle,” Deputy Coryell said. “He was able to finalize that puzzle by giving us the information that he did.”
The deputies said the group would either sell the items for drugs, trade them for other stolen items or sell them for cash.
Investigators were able to recover the vintage car along with other items including conga drums, a tent and beer mugs. Other stolen items such as guns, stereos, generators, televisions and car parts were already sold and it’s likely they’ll never find them.
“It shows that there’s a network of this going on and we’ve kind of just what I would call hit the tip of the iceberg,” Deputy Merriman said. “We’ve not quite got everything.”
Deputy Coryell said the important thing is that the people responsible are being held accountable.
“If somebody is going to commit these crimes in our county with methamphetamine and drugs and burglaries and thefts,” Coryell said. “What I want them to take notice of is you’re in the wrong county.”
The Sheriff’s Office is still trying to track down Tommy Allbright. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call police.
The deputies said they are still investigating other people’s involvement in the ring and it’s possible more charges could be filed.