INDIANAPOLIS - A private snow plow driver has been charged with felony theft, six weeks after the Call 6 Investigators first reported he was suspected of stealing stacks of salt from a south Indianapolis store.
Workers at the Kroger in the 4200 block of South East Street discovered 60 bags of Morton Safety Salt missing from several pallets outside the store, and a witness reported seeing two snow plows being loaded with salt while the store was closed for the night.
That witness provided license plate numbers to police and officers quickly realized both snow plows were registered to the same man.
Detectives then paid a visit to Christopher Lepper, 54, of Killarney Way, in southwest Indianapolis.
In court papers, detectives write that Lepper immediately greeted them by admitting he had stolen the salt from the Kroger. He told officers he "just wanted to get this over with," officers wrote.
At the police station, detectives said that Lepper indicated he and an employee were trying to plow and salt a number of business lots during January snowstorms. He said they had both run out of salt.
Lepper told police that he and his employee were unable to find salt at another store, but when they spotted the salt stacked outside the Kroger, they started loading it into the truck.
Police said that Lepper admitted to loading 20 bags of Morton Salt, but store workers told police 60 bags were taken with a value of $353.40.
Lepper told detectives he walked to the front door of the store to attempt to pay for the salt, which police confirmed on the security camera video of the encounter.
Lepper said he intended to return the following day to pay for the salt, but police said he admitted that he did not return or make any efforts to pay.
Police did not arrest Lepper, but court records said a felony theft charge was filed with a court summons being mailed to Lepper.
No one answered the door Wednesday evening when a reporter knocked on his door.