EVANSVILLE - Sixteen people have been charged in connection with what southern Indiana prosecutors are calling a “retail theft ring” that is accused of stealing millions of dollars worth of goods from area retailers.
Charged in the case are: Jeremy Ford, Kyle Philpott, Patrick Walsh, Kyle Jones, Dane Joseph Reiter, Lane Avery, Hilary Arney, Zachary Williams, Jourdan Baird, Eric Stucker, Robert Savage, Caleb Meeler, Lauren Wallace, Stephani Spain and Angela Bevins.
According to a news release from the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office, those people will be charged with corrupt business influence, a felony.
The news release states that Philpott, Walsh, Reiter, Ford and Avery are also charged with a criminal gang enhancement in the case.
Prosecutors say the Evansville Police Department started investigating a “series of high-end merchandise thefts” from local retailer earlier this year. The victims included several stores located in Eastland Mall.
Police connected a vehicle driven by a man who worked in the mall, Kyle Jones, to the series of thefts.
“With the cooperation of Jones, the investigation continued and the co-conspirators were uncovered,” the news release stated.
A total of 16 stores were hit, with thieves taking high-end vacuum cleaners, athletic apparel, high-end clothing, power tools, copper piping, flat-screen televisions and high-end purses and accessories, according to the news release.
The investigation also led to narcotics charges against Mario Butler, and two other men -- Michael J. Rupert and Kyle L. Hudson -- face federal charges for conspiring to commit (and committing) interstate transportation of stolen goods, according to the news release.
The investigation involved the FBI’s Southwest Indiana Violent Crime Task Force, the Evansville Police Department, the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office, the Indiana State Police and the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office.
Couple arrested month after boy's death
A man and woman were arrested Thursday in the death of the woman's 1-year-old son.
Fishers announces first city controller
The town of Fishers first city controller began this week ahead of its transition into a second-class city next year.
DNA links 'career criminal' to murder of teen
Police arrested a man in the killing of a 15-year-old Ben Davis student whose badly burned body was found in August.
Indy group pushes to bring back iconic art
Fountain Square is using a local photographer's work to bring back its iconic "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL" art.
Parent jailed in attack on Evansville bus driver
An Evansville man has been preliminarily charged with battery and trespass after he was accused of boarding an Evansville Vanderburgh School…
500 baby pigs die when semi overturns in Indy
Crews worked to rescue thousands of baby pigs from an overturned semi on the city's west side Thursday evening.