(BLOOMFIELD) - A warrant has been issued for a Solsberry woman after Indiana State Police say she stole a van from the Solsberry area on June 2.
Anna Rochelle of the Greene County Daily World reports that Michelle Caldwell is accused of taking a maroon 2006 Buick Terraza van owned by Christopher Britton.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Caldwell walked to Britton's home and asked if she could use his washing machine to wash her clothes. He agreed but then she asked if she could use the van to go pick up her clothes and bring them back. He agreed and she returned a short time later with her laundry which she put into the wash. But then she told Britton she forgot her purse and asked if she could use the van again to go get it, but she never returned.
Troopers were able to phone Caldwell who told police she was given permission to drive the van with the understanding that she would take over the monthly payments. She then told police the van ran out of gas and she left it at a home in Martinsville, went to get gas, but when she returned, the van was gone. When she was asked why she did not report the van as stolen, she alleged since she was not the registered owner, she did not think it was her responsibility. She also told police that a woman who lived in Brooklyn, was driving the vehicle.
In August, an officer with the Morgantown Police Department found the van being driven by a person who lived in a motel in Martinsville and the van was towed and impounded by the towing company.
The van was processed by ISP troopers who reported finding several receipts dated after the vehicle had been reported stolen. They followed the paper trail which included a trip to Walmart in Camby where there was a video that showed a woman exiting the store and getting into the van in July. Another receipt led them to a Martinsville auto parts store where the same woman, not Caldwell, had purchased brake pads for the van.
In late September, that woman turned up in the Morgan County Jail on several drug-related charges. The officers attempted to interview her but she declined to talk to officers and requested a lawyer.
Police attempted to make contact with Caldwell on several different dates but were unsuccessful. Police spoke to several of her friends and family members who all said they didn't know where she was. Some said that she often disappears for months at a time.
A criminal case was filed against Caldwell on Nov. 13 and a bench warrant was issued out of Greene Superior Court the same day on a preliminary charge of auto theft, a class D felony.
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