Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matt Headley handed an Indianapolis man the maximum sentence allowed -- three years -- on a Class D felony count of theft.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, charges of Class B felony burglary, Class C felony burglary and an additional count of Class D felony theft against Robert Jay Flatt, 42, were dropped. Flatt was ordered to serve his time at the Indiana Department of Corrections. He will receive credit for the 242 days he has served at the Putnam County Jail.
Flatt's charges stemmed from a series of incidents that began over a year ago. He came to the Putnam County Jail after spending time in the Hendricks County Jail on theft charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Flatt was allegedly involved in the theft of one Harley Davidson motorcycle on Oct. 28, 2007 and the theft of two Harley Davison motorcycles on Nov. 14, 2007. Both thefts occurred at private residences. Jewelry was also reported missing after the Nov. 14 incident.
On March 3, Indiana State Police Detective Michael Biggs received a phone call from Indiana State Police Trooper Charles Boller informing him that Flatt had telephoned his brother James and threatened to shoot the brother.
Court documents said Flatt used his brother's truck to commit the alleged crimes. Officers took photographs of James Flatt's truck and showed them to an eyewitness, who identified the truck as the one used in the Nov. 14, 2007 burglary.
One of the stolen motorcycles was recovered in Indianapolis on Dec. 10, 2007. The other two were stripped and sold for parts, court documents said.
Flatt has an extensive criminal history that includes arrests for child endangerment, operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, battery, burglary and theft.
Headley asked Flatt -- who has five children -- if any of the thefts he had ever committed were done as a means of supporting Flatt's family. Flatt said they had not.
"So you knew what you were doing?" Headley asked.
"Yeah," he said.
Flatt's court appointed attorney James Recker lobbied for his client to receive home detention. In court, Flatt said he had been working when he was arrested and would work if he were put on house arrest.
"It wouldn't be no problem finding a job," he said.
Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long said Flatt's criminal history spoke for itself.
"In light of the fact that (Flatt) continues to do these kinds of offenses, anything short of incarceration wouldn't be appropriate," he said.
Headley said a check of Flatt's record showed that 24 cases had been filed against him in as many years, three of them felonies.
"That's quite a string," Headley said. "You could have gotten a maximum of eight years, and instead you're pleading to something where you've got a maximum of three years. That's a gift."