INDIANAPOLIS - Two men have been arrested on felony charges after officers say they found both men with police tactical raid gear that had been stolen from an officer’s car.
Riot gear, a police badge, batons, a Taser and biological weapons masks were stolen from the trunk of an officer’s undercover car in his driveway within the past two weeks, police said.
"That police equipment in the wrong hands could be very dangerous to the person who stole it or very dangerous for our community, so we’re very happy that we were able to recover some of it," said Officer Kendale Adams with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
According to a police search warrant filed in the case, police found some of the stolen raid gear as they were arresting someone on an unrelated crime in the 3600 block of North Riley Avenue.
"This officer…was able again to garner information from a totally different incident and was able to put all of that together, find the house, identify some potential suspects, establish a search warrant and was able to recover some of the equipment," Adams said.
Felony charges of Theft and Receiving Stolen Property were lodged against James Garrett, 33, and Steven Ownes, 21.
In a search warrant reviewed by the Call 6 Investigators, officers wrote that Garrett claimed he had purchased the stolen police gear through an ad that was posted on Craigslist. He claimed the ad offered items for sale, calling them, "Last year’s Halloween costume."
Police worked to track down that Craigslist ad, but were unable to find any evidence of any listing or any other police gear being sold. Police said both men then admitted they made up the story of that online ad.
Adams said both men are believed to be the ones responsible for actually stealing the gear from the officer’s trunk. They told officers they didn’t realize it was an undercover police car when they broke into it.
As of Friday night, Adams said police had recovered the officer’s stolen gun belt, two Taser cartridges, a tactical police vest, two batons, a flashlight and some ammunition.
Officers had yet to locate the officer’s IMPD badge, a tactical raid vest and special suits and masks to guard against nuclear and biological weapons attacks.
Police said they were trying to chase down leads on where the remaining stolen police gear could be located.
While at least one other person was arrested on unrelated drug charges as police were confiscating the stolen gear, Adams said no one else is believed to be involved in the theft of the raid gear.