WESTVILLE — Footprints in freshly fallen snow helped sheriff's deputies nab three people accused of stealing from multiple vehicles overnight Sunday.
Sixty-five stolen items worth an estimated $2,600 were recovered, along with $82 and $5.82 in loose change, police said.
LaPorte County sheriff's police were dispatched about 2:45 a.m. to the 100 block of Spruce Street to investigate a report of suspicious activity in which a person in a dark SUV dropped off two people who appeared to have been stealing from vehicles, police said.
At 3:04 a.m., Deputy Josh Smith stopped the SUV at Ash Parkway and County Road 300 South. The driver, identified as Quinn M. Daley, 19, allegedly admitted to Smith that he dropped off two people in the area and they were stealing from vehicles. A second suspect, Austen T. Wood, 19, was arrested about 15 minutes later by Deputy Slawek Czupryna.
After searching for more than 45 minutes and tracking footprints through freshly fallen snow, a third suspect, Dominic M. Jones, 24, was located in the area of U.S. 421 and Ind. 2.
Daley, Wood and Jones were arrested and charged with theft, a Level 6 felony. Wood and Jones also were charged with unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, a Class B misdemeanor. Jones also had an arrest warrant for failure to appear, police said.
"Citizens are urged to remove valuable personal property from motor vehicles and to secure their vehicles at all times," police said.