News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 12, 2014

Stolen car used in home invasion recovered

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A stolen vehicle used by suspects in a March 4 home invasion has been recovered.

The gold 2003 Dodge Stratus was found burned and abandoned in the rural Prairieton area, said Chief Deputy Clark Cottom of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department.

The car was reported stolen from the 2300 block of South Center Street in Terre Haute about 24 hours prior to the home invasion, which occurred at about 3:17 a.m. at a residence on Halt Drive off U.S. 41 on the city’s south side.

Cottom said the burned out car had multiple gunshot blasts — in the passenger door, rear fender and back glass area. A bullet that pierced the passenger door went through the passenger compartment, Cottom said.

“If the suspects were not struck by bullets they are extremely fortunate,” he said, noting that no one with a gunshot wound has presented for treatment at an area hospital. Medical facilities are required to report to law enforcement when patients seek medical treatment for gunshot wounds.

Both suspects were described as white males in their 20s. One suspect has been described as taller and thinner, while the second suspect is not as tall and has a stockier build. Both suspects were armed with semi-automatic pistols, and one was silver.

The alleged victim was kicked and pistol whipped by one of the suspects. Guns were allegedly pointed at both the victim and his live-in girlfriend, as the suspects threatened to kill them.

Cottom said that the alleged victim reported that several hundred dollars and a Sony laptop computer were taken in the incident. The suspects reportedly forced their way into the home and demanded cash and marijuana. Cottom said that no marijuana was found at the residence, which is a rental home.

Police have received several tips which are being investigated, he said, but additional tips and information from the public is also welcome. Two persons of interest have been identified, he said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the sheriff’s department at 812-462-3226 or Crime Stoppers at 800-238-STOP.

Both suspects should be considered armed and dangerous, Cottom said.