Police: stolen equipment valued at more than $1 million
The alleged theft of more than $1 million worth of heavy equipment from at least five central Indiana counties has landed a Putnam County man in jail, and more arrests are anticipated.
Indiana State Police officers from the Putnamville Post arrested 55-year-old Thomas P. Skene Tuesday afternoon at his rural home at 105 E. U.S. 40, south of Greencastle.
Tuesday's arrest comes one month after officers from the state police responded to Skene's property to investigate a report of stolen equipment.
What they found after searching Skene's property, along with another one in Owen County, were in excess of 40 varying pieces of heavy equipment, including backhoes, semi-tractor trailers, bulldozers, tractors, a grain truck, pontoon boat and freight containers.
ISP Sgt. Rich Myers told the BannerGraphic that a total of 60 vehicles were recovered by police and that 42 of them were determined to be stolen.
Skene is alleged to have been buying, selling, shipping and storing stolen vehicle parts.
The items were reported stolen from various construction sites and private businesses located in Clay, Hendricks, Marion, Morgan, Monroe, Montgomery, Owen and Putnam counties from the period of December 2006 to December 2007, according to investigators in the case.
In addition to the stolen equipment, state police reportedly recovered methamphetamines and marijuana along with miscellaneous paraphernalia from Skene's property.
Skene was arrested, without incident, at around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at his residence and transported to the Putnam County Jail on charges of auto theft, dealing in altered auto parts, receiving stolen property, possession of methamphetamines, dealing in methamphetamines, possession of marijuana and dealing in marijuana.
The case has been handed over to the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office for review.