Rushville Republican

April 12, 2013

Charges filed in VP robbery

Laurel man faces multiple felony charges

Frank Denzler
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — An investigation into an armed robbery that took place during the early hours of Feb. 7 culminated with charges filed Tuesday against Jesse J Sparks, 20, of Laurel. Sparks has been incarcerated in the Rush County Jail since a Feb. 7 arrest on unrelated charge.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, additional charges of robbery while armed with a deadly weapon (class “B” felony) and theft (class “D” felony) were filed against the Laurel man in regards to the Feb. 7 act of violence. Additionally, a bond of $60,000 was set on the new charges.

An unidentified clerk, who was unharmed during the incident at the Village Pantry, located at 1003 W. Third Street, called the Rushville Police Department dispatch center shortly before 2 a.m. the morning of the robbery and reported that she had just been robbed by a male with a gun.

Officers arrived moments later and a search of the area failed to locate a suspect at that time.

Rushville Police Chief Craig Tucker said that Detective Lt. Randy Meek of the RPD assumed the lead in the investigation and has worked diligently since the morning of the robbery to bring closure to the case.

Tucker said as new leads were developed a suspect emerged.

Information compiled by the RPD, Rush County Sheriff’s Department, Greensburg Police Department, Ripley County Sheriff’s Department and the Batesville Police Department recently shed new light on the local robbery. The collaborative effort led to Sparks being formally charged.

“The investigation that led to the arrest of Jesse Sparks spanned more than two months; however, the RPD and the other agencies involved remained persistent in solving this armed robbery. This act of crime alleged to be committed by Sparks and his accomplice not only led to a business being the victim of a robbery but it also created a loss of security within our community. We have worked tirelessly to solve this case to make our community a safer place,” Meek said.

He also added his thanks to those outside resources and other law enforcement agencies for their assistance:

“The resolution of this case was made possible by several agencies working together and began when agencies realized that our investigations appeared to be linked,” Meek said.

Officers from the law enforcement agencies met frequently and shared information regarding crimes in their communities. Gradually, the puzzle pieces began to fit together, Meek said.

He continued by saying that ongoing investigations will continue in other counties in an effort to determine what and if any involvement

Sparks may have played in unresolved crimes within those jurisdictions.

Tucker was quick to praise the efforts of those involved for their diligence in this matter.

“I am very proud of the efforts and tenacity displayed by my investigative staff during the course of this investigation. I believe persistence has paid off. I am equally proud of the ability of officers across multiple jurisdictional lines to work collaboratively to resolve their investigations as a team. A combination of technology and good police work has helped us get our man,” Tucker said.

Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106