Injured suspect apprehended after stealing truck, motorcycle, igniting corn field

Friday, March 20, 2015

A white male in his mid-20s was apprehended Thursday afternoon after he abandoned the stolen truck he was driving in a corn field and fled on foot, catching the corn field on fire in the process.

The suspect, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, was eventually discovered by Roachdale Marshal Mike Mahoy's K9 Deputy Toby.

Col. Tom Helmer was positioned in his vehicle on County Road 900 N when he spotted a Ford F-150 that officials had been looking for after the vehicle showed up at residence that was being served with a warrant just one day prior.

Local law enforcement at the scene of where a vehicular pursuit ended and a foot pursuit began this afternoon in North Putnam County. The suspect fled in what initial reports claim as a stolen Ford F-150 with a motorcycle in its bed. The vehicle caught fire and scorched a patch of corn field before being extinguished. The suspect then led officials on a foot pursuit that involved K9 support and the need for a medical assistance after the suspect was apprehended in a creek bed, having difficulty breathing and seemingly only partially conscious. (Photo courtesy of Putnam County Sheriff's Department)

The vehicle matched the description of a truck that was reported stolen from Morgan County several weeks ago.

Upon seeing the truck pass him going the opposite direction, Helmer continued driving before turning around to follow the vehicle, out of sight and with no lights or sirens activated.

"We don't want anybody getting hurt," Helmer said explaining that he was following about a half-mile behind the vehicle.

A medical helicopter was called to the scene of a chase that when from a stolen F-150 to a foot pursuit resulting in injury this afternoon in North Putnam County. (Photo courtesy of PCSD)

"He passed me and I was trying to catch up to him."

As Helmer followed, the driver turned south on County Road 500 East, stirring up dust on the gravel roadway.

Helmer continued to follow the vehicle but, due to dust, was unable to directly see the vehicle.

The suspect of a pursuit in North Putnam County is strapped to a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance Thursday afternoon. The chase resulted in a stolen truck catching fire in a corn field and a foot chase thereafter. The suspect was apprehended when found in a creek bed partially concious. (Photo courtesy of PCSD)

"All of a sudden, the dust was gone," Helmer said.

The Indiana Department of Transportation had began to receive phone calls of a vehicle in a field that had caught fire and aided in directing officials to that location.

The field appeared to have caught fire from the catalytic converter but was quickly extinguished.

The suspect fled on foot, with law enforcement securing a perimeter and releasing two K9s to track and locate the suspect.

Although the exact cause is still undetermined, it appears he was running and fell off an embankment, injuring himself badly enough that he could no longer run.

The suspect was apprehended and taken by Stat Flight to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.

In the back of the stolen F-150 was a motorcycle that was reported stolen from Mooresville Thursday morning, with its apparent owner even posting a photo on Facebook saying it had been stolen that morning.

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  • I miss the old days when the BannerGraphic used to say the real name of the roads in the county instead of using GPS locations. The old days was in the 70's.

    -- Posted by donantonioelsabio on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 6:10 PM
  • Ummmmm..... CR 500 East seems pretty descriptive. I don't see any latitude and longitude coordinates.

    -- Posted by JMFQ on Thu, Mar 19, 2015, at 7:50 PM
  • I tried using Google Earth but, it could not be found. Maybe it doesn't exist.

    -- Posted by donantonioelsabio on Fri, Mar 20, 2015, at 6:37 AM
  • donantonioelsabio (the wise one?): most Putnam County roads never had "real names", addresses were just rural route numbers. So 900 North and 600 East is a lot more specific. I found both of these roads on Google Earth.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Fri, Mar 20, 2015, at 8:39 AM
  • Crime doesn't pay.

    -- Posted by interestedperson#1 on Fri, Mar 20, 2015, at 12:37 PM
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