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Tip From Hunter Helps Crack Theft Ring, Leads To Drug Arrests
Updated December 18, 2015 7:49 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(CRAWFORD CO.) - Acting on a tip received from deer hunters, Indiana Conservation Officers teamed with Crawford County Sheriff's Deputies and other law enforcement agencies this week in a large-scale investigation.

Police arrested 46-year-old Joseph Dearborn of Taswell, 59-year-old Ricky Gray, 52-year-old Scott Froman and 53-year-old TJ Thomas Lester, all of Eckerty on multiple charges, including burglary, theft, and drug possession.

On November 14th, while checking deer hunters, an Indiana Conservation officer received a tip concerning multiple burglaries that had occurred in and around Crawford County. That tip ultimately led officers to Dearborn's residence, where a stolen tractor, 3 stolen ATVs, a stolen generator, and meth and drug paraphernalia were found.

Multiple search warrants followed, and Indiana Conservation Officers, Crawford County Sheriff's deputies, and Indiana State Police troopers located additional stolen items and vehicles, as well as meth and drug paraphernalia at the other suspects' home. To date, 21 burglaries and/or thefts dating back to April of 2015 have been connected with these men.

Recovered items include 3 ATVs, 2 motor vehicles (1 stolen from Georgia), 2 tractors, multiple stolen power tools, road signs, fishing equipment and other personal items, some of which have been returned to their rightful owners.

Assisting agencies included the Crawford County Sheriff's Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police, and English Town Marshalls.

The case remains under investigation, and additional arrests and stolen item recoveries are expected. Anyone with information concerning this investigation is encouraged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers' Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536, or the Crawford County Sheriff's Department at (812) 338-3616.

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