Seymour police confiscate confiscate an estimated $300,000 in stolen vehicles and $18,000 in marijuana

SEYMOUR – Seymour Police officers have arrested three residents on auto theft and marijuana charges.

During the arrest, officers confiscated an estimated $300,000 in stolen vehicles and $18,000 in marijuana, according to Seymour Police Lt. C.J Foster.

On January 30, 2023, patrol officers with the Seymour Police Department received information from the Mishawaka Police Department that a stolen high-end 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee was in the area of West Tipton Street in Seymour. Patrol officers contacted 24-year-old Johnathan Smith who lived at 1999 West Tipton Street .

Johnathan Smith

Patrol officers asked Smith if they could search the property for the stolen vehicle. A short time later, Smith arrived at the location and produced a receipt for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Patrol officers showed Smith a photo of the missing or stolen vehicle. He acknowledged the vehicle was there. Patrol officers obtained a Jackson County Superior Court 1 search warrant to enter the location and check for the stolen vehicle as well as other stolen vehicles.

When the search warrant was executed, patrol officers and investigators located the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee which had been reported as stolen. Additionally, a gray 2020 Dodge Charger and an orange 2020 Dodge Charger were located, both high-end vehicles. Both Dodge Chargers had been stolen from Indianapolis.

Officers also located numerous items associated with vehicle thefts.

The search was stopped, and a second Jackson County Superior Court 1 search warrant was obtained for additional evidence. That evidence included key fob programming devices, numerous key fobs, items belonging to the stolen vehicle owners, handwritten receipts, and evidence that vehicle identification numbers had been manipulated. Investigators learned that the vehicle identification numbers had been cut from one vehicle and had been put on another vehicle.

The information located at the West Tipton Street property led patrol officers and investigators to a residence located on Sams Circle in Seymour. Investigators obtained a third Jackson Superior Court 1 search warrant for that location. During the search, investigators recovered a stolen white 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, more than six pounds of marijuana, vehicle titles, and evidence of vehicle identification numbers being manufactured.

Smith was arrested and is facing five counts of auto theft and dealing marijuana.

On January 31, 2023, investigators obtained a fourth Jackson Superior Court 1 search warrant to go back to the home on West Tipton Street. While at the property, investigators located a Bobcat skid steer. The next day, the Bobcat skid steer was reported stolen out of Owen County. Officers went back to the property and recovered the vehicle.

As the investigation progressed, additional individuals were arrested. On February 16, 2023, police arrested 29-year-old Phillip Auel on charges of conspiracy to commit auto theft, and dealing marijuana.

Karen Miller

On March 4, police arrested 27-year-old Karen Miller, of Seymour, on charges of conspiracy to commit auto theft, dealing marijuana, and two counts of child neglect.