Police Chief's Truck Seized As Investigation Widens

Affidavit: Truck May Be Linked To Improper Sale Of Stolen Car

The investigation into Zionsville's embattled police chief appears to be widening, with detectives seizing his department-issued vehicle Wednesday.

Rick Dowden placed himself on paid administrative leave in November following accusations he stole a TV from the department's evidence room and pulled a loaded, cocked gun on a group of officers.

On Wednesday, a search warrant was issued allowing state police investigators to seize and inspect Dowden's 2010 F150 pickup truck, 6News' Derrik Thomas reported.

According to the search warrant affidavit, investigators believe the truck may be linked to the improper sale of a stolen vehicle recovered by Zionsville police.

The department recovered three stolen vehicles in 2009, two of which were later returned to their owners, investigators said.

But the department seized the third, a 2007 Nissan 350 Z, saying it had been involved in criminal activity, and would not be released, pending forfeiture, although investigators contend those statements were untrue, according to the affidavit.

Liberty Mutual Insurance confirmed a $21,000 payout for the car and the title was transferred to the town of Zionsville.

It was later sold at auction for $9,147, money used as a partial payment for Dowden's $29,000 truck, according to the affidavit.

"I don't know what this is about. I don't know why they are taking his vehicle," Zionsville Town Manager Ed Mitro told 6News.

He stressed that no charges had been filed and that Dowden, who returned to the job in February, remains the chief.

"At the moment, he is," he said. "No comment has been made by the special prosecutor relative to the investigation and the chief. He continues to be the chief."

Special prosecutor David Powell would not comment on the case outside of the information in the affidavit. He said the investigation is ongoing.

Zionsville officials have retained a private law firm to perform an administrative review of the Police Department's policies and procedures.