2015-09-01 / Front Page

Teens Facing Charges In Connection With Cataract General Store Burglary

Staff Report

According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Owen County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Darin Crum, police were alerted to an overnight burglary at the Cataract General Store in the early morning hours of July 1st. After arriving on scene, police observed that the suspect had gained entry into the business by throwing a large potted plant through the window of the front door. After entering the business and speaking with the owner, it was determined that money, a cash register, and miscellaneous items of merchandise had been stolen during the burglary. At that time, police had no suspects and very little physical evidence to use to conduct an investigation.

According to the report, in the days following the burglary, word of the breakin began spreading to area news outlets, to social media and to the statewide news organizations. As a result of the news coverage, on July 21st, a man from northern Indiana came to the Owen County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) to report that he believed that his grandson and one of his grandson’s friends were the likely culprits. During the interview with the reporting party, police learned that he owns a piece of property off of Maze Road near the Cataract General Store and that after seeing the story on the news that he travelled from northern Indiana to his Maze Road property and discovered evidence of the crime.

Police, armed with the names of the suspects, contacted their parents and scheduled them for interviews at the OCSD. The suspects were identified as each being seventeen years old and residents of Indianapolis. The teens, with their parents, later appeared at the sheriff’s department and provided confessions which matched the evidence collected at the store and the Maze Road property. Deputy Crum prepared his police report and sent it to the Owen County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of charges.

According to Owen County Prosecutor Don VanDerMoere, the two teens were charged with burglary and theft and were summoned to court by the Owen County Juvenile Probation Department. The prosecutor advised that one of the teens recently appeared in the Owen Circuit Court I and has admitted that he and his cohort committed the offenses. As a result of his admission, the teen was adjudicated a delinquent child and was ordered to pay restitution, perform community service, and to attend counseling.

The prosecutor further advised that the second suspect has yet to appear in court and that he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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