INDIANAPOLIS - An arrest has been made in the rip-offs of two Indianapolis churches after police said the burglar left his fingerprints at his latest crime scene.
Church leaders at the 91st Street Christian Church and St. Matthew Church on 56th Street and Allisonville Road reported that someone walked in and made off with musical instruments and microphones in separate January crimes.
On Jan. 7, surveillance video from the 91st Street Christian Church showed someone wandering around inside after somehow entering the church.
Police were told the thief took seven microphones valued at $2,500, along with a Gibson Sunburst guitar valued at $2,000 and a Martin custom guitar valued at $3,000. An $800 Apple Macbook was also stolen.
In a surprise coincidence, a local guitar shop in the Castleton area called police a few days later to report that both guitars had been brought in by someone who was attempting to pawn them. The staff recognized one of the guitars since the church had originally bought the guitar there in the first place, police said
Police wrote in their report that the Gibson Sunburst was recovered at that pawn shop, but the Martin custom guitar was not.
Officers said a man who brought in the second guitar to inquire about a price ended up taking it back out of the store without receiving money. Officers did obtain his driver's license information and receipts from the sale of the first stolen guitar.
The second church crime was reported Jan. 23 at the St. Matthew Catholic Church at 4100 East 56th Street, where a bag containing 10 microphones valued at a total of $2,000 was taken.
Each microphone was engraved with "St Matthew" on it. Police reported that they found fingerprints around the spot where those microphones were stolen.
In a search warrant reviewed by the Call 6 Investigators, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives wrote that fingerprints of the same suspect were recovered at a home burglary in the 5700 block of North Oxford Street.
The woman who lives there told police that someone opened the rear window and doors and removed a laptop computer, a briefcase with 40 country music compact discs, as well as two pearl necklaces and other jewelry.
Officers wrote in their search warrant that the fingerprints from that crime allowed them to identify Devon Ulrey, 19 of Indianapolis, as the suspect in all three crimes.
Ulrey has a prior arrest record for numerous burglaries and thefts, and he is now jailed on charges related to all three burglaries.
He's set to appear before a judge in Marion County’s 9th felony court next month.