From the Indiana State Police – Bloomington District:
Yesterday morning, Trooper Jeremy Cox had just left the Indiana State Police Post and had turned north on Woodyard Road from Vernal Pike in Bloomington when he observed suspicious activity by two men in a red Dodge truck parked alongside a black GMC SUV that was off the roadway and had been left abandoned.
Trp. Cox observed a cloud of dust coming from the GMC as Nicky D. Wright, 52 years old from Martinsville, was reaching into the fender well area of the vehicle. A second suspect, Richard P. Vanskiver, 63 years old from Martinsville, was sitting in the Dodge truck, that was parked next to the GMC. As Master Trooper Mark Clephane and Senior Trooper Kent Rohlfing arrived to assist, the investigation revealed inconsistencies with the two men’s stories, damage consistent with the theft of catalytic converter along with the presence of the tools involved in the alleged theft. Both men were transported to the Monroe County Jail on the following charges,
- Auto Theft, Level 6 Felony (2 counts)
- Conversion, Class A Misdemeanor
- Criminal Mischief, Class A Misdemeanor
Arrest photos may be obtained from the Monroe County Jail
Lt. Paul Bucher, Commander of the Bloomington District, commended the work of the Troopers as this type of crime has spiked recently, “We continually see this crime occur within our community as the prices of precious metals rise and our Troopers are well trained in detecting the behaviors of suspects that prey on other people’s misfortunes.” Lt. Bucher also stated, “We would like to remind the public to be vigilant of their property and report any suspicious activity alongside our roadways.”
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Police in the region have been fighting catalytic converter thefts for some time, as you may recall including an article from the other day, as well as in and another article in June 2021.