ISP Investigation leads to theft ring which included Dubois County thefts
On January 14, 2021, Indiana State Police began an investigation into the theft of a dump trailer from a utility company.
The trailer was stolen from along River Road, near Ft. Ritner, where the company had equipment parked. In addition, one of the company’s trucks had a catalytic converter cut and removed.
During the course of this trailer theft investigation, ISP began to receive information that several departments were taking reports of stolen catalytic converters. These thefts were occurring not only in Lawrence County, but also in Monroe, Orange, Washington, Martin, and Dubois counties.
Locally, the Lawrence County Police Department, the Bedford Police Department, and the Mitchell Police Department had taken dozens of theft reports. Additionally, Indiana Conservation Law Officers were investigating the theft of catalytic converters from state properties in the area.
This case was widespread and rampant, each department would uncover a piece of the puzzle and obtain tips/information. As the thefts continued, departments began to work together in April 2021.
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.
ISP troopers were able to track down and recover the stolen trailer from the utility company. It was located in West Virginia, after a man from that state had purchased it from Adam Brewer. The West Virginia State Police recovered the trailer, which has now been returned to the utility company in Indiana.
At this point in the investigation, Troopers and ICO Officers began to rapidly compile evidence against several suspects. ICO was able to arrest multiple people on the converter thefts from state properties.
Troopers conducted multiple interviews and recovered two more stolen trailers at various locations in Lawrence County. In addition, they recovered stolen battery-powered tools and saws.
Troopers also obtained information that Adam Brewer and Jeffrey 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.
The four-wheeler was recovered when an off-duty trooper observed 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, ISP Sgt. Greg Day talked with officials at both Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department. It was decided that 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 all seven suspects.
On Thursday, ISP organized efforts to track down and arrest the four men and transported them to the Lawrence County Jail.