ISP: Several suspects involved in multi-county ‘theft ring’ arrested

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BEDFORD, Ind. — Authorities arrested several people involved in a “theft ring” that is “responsible for tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and losses” across multiple Indiana counties, state police announced Thursday.

Indiana State Police say its investigation began January 14 after the theft of a dump trailer from a utility company. The trailer had been stolen from along River Road in Lawrence County, where the company had equipment parked. In addition, one of the company’s trucks had a catalytic converter cut and removed, ISP added.

During the course of the trailer theft investigation, state police learned that several departments were taking reports of stolen catalytic converters. ISP says these thefts were occurring in Lawrence, Monroe, Orange, Washington, Martin and Dubois counties. As the thefts continued, multiple agencies began to work together and share information in April.

According to state police, various investigative techniques were utilized, including obtaining electronic communications of suspects. Officers were able to identify 31-year-old Adam Brewer, 27-year-old Uriah Stickney, 29-year-old Nicholas Arthur and 29-year-old Jeffrey Deckard — all of Bedford — as being involved in the theft ring.

A trooper was able to track down and recover the utility company’s stolen trailer from West Virginia and return it to the company. ISP says a West Virginia man bought the trailer from Brewer.

At this point in the investigation, authorities say they started to rapidly compile evidence against several suspects. Indiana conservation officers were able to arrest multiple people on converter thefts from state properties. ISP says it conducted multiple interviews and recovered two more stolen trailers at various locations in Lawrence County, as well as stolen battery-powered tools and saws.

Troopers also gathered information that Brewer and Deckard had stolen a four-wheeler from a property on State Road 446. This theft was uncovered before the victims even knew the four-wheeler was missing, state police noted. The four-wheeler was recovered when an off duty trooper noticed Deckard driving with the four-wheeler in the back of a truck. The trooper contacted the Bedford Police Department, which conducted a traffic stop on Deckard.

Once all of the evidence was compiled, authorities decided ISP would write all of the local probable cause affidavits and request warrants on the appropriate suspects. The affidavits were submitted to the court, and warrants were issued.

On Thursday, troopers organized efforts to track down and arrest the suspects, who were arrested and incarcerated on the following charges:

Adam Brewer

  1. Felony corrupt business influence
  2. Felony theft (converters) over $750 – 15 counts
  3. Felony theft of property (tools) over $750
  4. Felony theft of a motor vehicle (four-wheeler)
  5. Felony theft (trailer) over $750
  6. Misdemeanor criminal mischief over $750 – 15 counts
  7. Misdemeanor unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle

Uriah Stickney

  1. Felony corrupt business influence
  2. Felony theft (converters) over $750 – 12 counts
  3. Felony theft (trailer) over $750
  4. Misdemeanor criminal mischief over $750 – 12 counts

Nicholas Arthur

  1. Felony corrupt business influence
  2. Felony theft (converters) over $750 – 5 counts
  3. Felony theft (trailer) over $750
  4. Misdemeanor criminal mischief over $750 – 5 counts

Jeffrey Deckard

  1. Felony theft of a motor vehicle (four-wheeler)

State police say more charges are expected to be filed, and additional arrests are also expected as the investigation continues.

“This theft ring was responsible for tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage and losses not just in our community, but in surrounding counties as well,” said ISP Sgt. Greg Day. “Due to the sharing of information and collaboration, this investigation had a successful conclusion with justice for dozens of victims.”

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