An anonymous tip led to the recovery of $25,000 worth of items allegedly stolen from contractors associated with the Interstate 69 project.
Police arrested 56-year-old Mark E. Allen of Bloomfield on four preliminary charges of Level 6 felony theft where the value of the property is between $750 and $50,000.
Greene County Sheriff’s Department Det. Sgt. Jim O’Malley says stolen items from the I-69 project were found on Allen’s property along with items stolen from an area home.
O’Malley reported he received an anonymous tip on April 25, stating “stolen portable lighting equipment” was on Allen’s property on North Hill Drive, which appeared to match the description of a Magnum m-p Light Standard Unit reported stolen by White Construction Company last October. The $5,000 piece of equipment was being used by the contractor as part of the I-69 project.
The following day, O’Malley reported he received another tip, this time stating the light was hidden in the woods at the rear of Allen’s property.
On April 28, O’Malley met with Allen at his residence and requested permission to search the property.
The initial search of Allen’s property recovered a gray-colored four wheeler located in plain sight, which matched the description of a recently-stolen ATV. Greene County Dispatch ran the VIN on the four wheeler, which matched that of an ATV reported stolen in February with an estimated value of $2,000.
Several hundred yards from the house, O’Malley purportedly located an Allmand Night-Lite Pro reported stolen by Kolb Grading Company in October. The piece of equipment, valued around $10,000, had a matching serial number to the item reported stolen.
In the same area, the originally reported White Construction portable lighting unit was also discovered, with the name of the company stenciled on the item and a matching serial number.
O’Malley then obtained a search warrant, which led to the recovery of another four wheeler, reported stolen to the Indiana State Police on March 29. The ATV has an estimated value of about $4,000.
The probable cause noted due to the stolen items allegedly found on the property, O’Malley obtained another search warrant and searched the inside of Allen’s home. During the course of that search, officers found an assortment of items, including tools, hunting gear and other items matching the description of items reported stolen by the same person who reported the second ATV stolen.
Among the items in the basement was a backpack, which contained a notepad with the owner’s name written inside. The search of the home also resulted in the location of several other items, including a slot-car racetrack, Dell computer monitor and microwave, all of which were reported stolen. Officers also located a utility trailer with a VIN number matching that of another item reported stolen.
O’Malley conducted an interview with Allen on April 29, at which time he reportedly denied knowing of stolen items on the property. He allegedly told the detective he has cattle in the area where the items were located, but had never observed the equipment on his property.
“This equipment was visible from the gate located several hundred yards away,” O’Malley noted in the report.
The probable cause also notes Allen was unable to explain how the tools, hunting accessories, microwave and other items got into his home.
Allen is set to appear in Greene Superior Court for an initial hearing Monday at 1 p.m.