By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
A joint investigation is underway after a series of recent vehicle break-ins where a suspect then attempted to use a stolen credit card at a gas station.
Vigo County and Sullivan County Sheriff’s investigators are investigating incidents occurring in both counties. According to Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom, multiple vehicles were broken into early Sunday morning.
"In one break-in, a Glock .40 caliber - model 22 handgun was taken from a vehicles locked console,' he said, adding that the suspects ended up at Marathon gas station at South Third and Poplar Streets in Terre Haute allegedly trying to use one of the stolen credit cards.
Cottom released photos of the possible suspects in which the suspect exits the passenger side of a dark colored sedan, before entering the convenience store.
"The suspect attempted to purchase gasoline, cigarettes and a candy bar, but did not know the card owners zip code so the credit card declined," Cottom explained. Another possible clue, the suspect(s) choice of cigarettes are apparently Marlboro Special Blend and Camel Crush Menthol, he said.
If you have any information on who this thief may be contact investigators at 812-462-3226 ext. 7322 or 812-268-3408.
By Lucy Perry
Indiana Central News
SULLIVAN COUNTY – Two local men are connected to a string of crimes spanning several counties,according to Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom.
He said investigators believe Bradley Collins, 48, of Dugger, and Aaron Shotts, 28, of Vincennes, are responsible for a series of thefts, burglaries and stolen vehicles reported in Sullivan, Vigo and Knox Counties.
Meanwhile, today, Sullivan County Superior Court found probable cause and issued an arrest warrant for Shotts, Cottom notes.
Cottom outlines a trail of incidences that investigators were able to piece together, tying the suspects together in multiple crimes. He believes the investigation is an example of determined and diligent police work by his staff, as well as "excellent cooperation and assistance from officers from seven other law enforcement agencies."
The multi-agency investigation began Oct. 13 when a suspect left the scene property damage crash on SR 159, south of Dugger. In that crash a dark -colored Dodge occupied by an unknown white male had fled from the scene.
While investigating the crash, Lt. William Snead also discovered an abandoned pick-up truck on CR 175 with front end damage.
"A license plate check revealed that the pickup had been stolen from a business in West Terre Haute. In plain view, several tools were observed strewn about the bed of the stolen truck," Cottom explained, adding that as Lt. Snead was finishing the crash investigation, in a separate incident, a burglary was reported near the 100 block of CR 800 East, northwest of Dugger.
Sheriff’s investigators have since been able to establish that Collins, along with Shotts , had allegedly been present at the nearby burglary scene.
"Continued investigation revealed that items taken in the burglary matched items observed in the stolen pick-up," Cottom said.
Then, in a separate incident, on Oct. 14, a Sullivan County property owner arrived at his hunting cabin near Dugger, to find a white male inside the cabin --later believed to be Collins.
"When confronted by the cabin owner, the male fled into the woods. The property owner called 911 and Indiana Conservation Officer Dustin Cary responded. Officer Cary immediately called for a canine from his agency," Cottom said.
Conservation officers, along with Sullivan County deputies searched a wooded area but were unable to locate the suspect --- now believed to be Collins. Cottom notes that Shotts was not connected to that burglary.Cary is leading the hunting cabin investigation.
On Oct.21, in a separate incident, Sullivan County 911 Dispatch received a call that Bradley Collins was seen near the K of P Cemetery, just east of Hymera.
"Collins had been in an altercation before fleeing into standing corn and eventually into a wooded area. Sullivan County deputies were assisted by Vigo County Sheriff’s canines, as well as officers from Jasonville PD. Collins eluded capture after the five hour search," Cottom said.
Then, on Oct. 22, Shotts reportedly encountered Terre Haute City Police near Brown and Wabash Avenues.
"Shotts attempted to flee officers, however he was apprehended and has since been booked into the Vigo County Jail. Collins was not involved in that incident," Cottom said, adding that the very same day, in Sullivan County, a farmer was burglarized on SR48, not far from the area Collins was last seen on foot.
"In that burglary, several farm tools and a White-Stearling farm grain truck was stolen," Cottom explained, adding that it was located Entering Dugger the following day The Dugger and Hymera Town Marshals responded, along with Sullivan County Deputies. Collins surrendered to police without resistance.
As part of the continued investigation, on Tuesday, Chief Deputy Jason Bobbitt and Snead discovered that Collins had allegedly disposed of stolen items from the SR48 farm burglary in Vincennes, Cottom explained.
Chief Bobbitt worked Monday to obtain a search warrant for the Knox County property.
"Bobbitt traveled to Knox County and with the assistance from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, he recovered several items from the SR48 burglary," Cottom said.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141