Shortly after arriving at work Wednesday, Mark Webb of Webb Welding, 522 North Spencer Street, realized his business had been burglarized and robbed the night before. Following the realization, a call to the Rushville Police Department was made. That call set in motion and effort to find and arrest those responsible. Hours later, a Rush County man was in custody and a search for a second suspect was undertaken after he fled law enforcement.
RPD Officer Joshua Clifton was initially dispatched to the call and, after speaking to Webb, calls were made to nearby scrap metal locations in an effort to alert them of the theft and the possibility that someone may try to turn the ill-gotten goods into cash.
According to Rushville Assist Chief of Police Todd Click, a report of a burglary was received shortly before 8 a.m.
“Right after arriving at work a customer drove up and I began working on a tractor trailer a short while later. I noticed (two-wheel) dolly marks by the entrance to the building. Initially I thought that I may have left the door open from the night before, then when I went inside I realized that items were missing so I called the police,” Webb said Thursday morning shortly after learning two suspects had been caught in the case.
Following the theft, Integrity Metals in nearby Morristown contacted the RPD reporting that a pair of individuals was attempting to sell some of the reported stolen items. An employee at the business that had been made aware of the thefts notified the RPD of the individuals later identified as Stephen Howard Matney Jr., 40, of Glenwood, and Michael J. Allen, 24, of Franklin County. The employee told the two individuals that he was unable to write a check for the items and he would contact them when a supervisor returned.
As law enforcement officers awaited the pairs return, Morristown Marshall Henry Albrecht initiated a traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle. Matney was taken into custody at the scene while Allen fled to a nearby field.
A massive air and ground search that included officers and K9 units from Shelbyville Police, RPD, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, Rush County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police got under way.
Nearly two hours later, the search was called off, only to resume a short time later. The second search was called off during the early morning hours of Thursday.
Shortly after coming on duty Thursday morning, Rush County Deputy Terry Drake received a call of a suspicious individual attempting to gain entrance in to rural residence in Shelby County near the site that Allen was last seen. A short time later, Drake located Allen and he too was taken into custody.
Both suspects are currently being held in the Rush County Jail. On Wednesday, a female driver of the suspect’s vehicle was detained and later released after being questioned by law enforcement.
Allen is charged locally with burglary (Level 5 Felony), theft (Level 5 Felony) and possession of stolen property (Level 5 Felony). He is facing additional charges in Shelby County and unspecified charges on multiple warrants from other counties.
Matney is charged locally with burglary and theft charges. It is unknown if additional charges are forth coming. A $15,000 local bond was listed.
“The successful effort of this case was aided by not only the multiple officers and departments involved, but also the citizens of Shelby County that live in the area the search was conducted. All facets of which were important in the apprehension of the fleeing suspect,” Rushville Chief of Police Craig Tucker said.
Webb was also appreciative of the efforts when informed Thursday morning of the apprehension of the two suspects.
“I never thought that this case would be resolved this quick. I appreciate the leg work you and the other officers in this put in. I never thought that you’d find anything in this case, especially this quickly, “Webb told officer Clifton Thursday morning.
Additional items reported stolen have not yet been located and the investigation is ongoing at this time.
Read more on this story in future editions of the Rushville Republican as information is made available.
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