News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 6, 2013

Vigo Community Corrections escapee back in custody

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Vigo County Sheriff’s Office reports that Bruce E. Thomas, 37, was arrested on Lafayette Street near Hollywood Avenue at approximately 4:50 p.m. Tuesday.

Thomas was wanted for escape from the Vigo County Community Corrections. He also had active arrest warrants out of Vigo County Division 3 Court for burglary, a class-C felony, and two counts of auto theft, one a class-D felony and the other a class-C felony.

The Sheriff’s office on Tuesday received a report of a suspicious man near the Jiffy Mini-Mart at Lafayette and Park Avenue. The report was received from off-duty Terre Haute Police Officer Travis Chesshir. First Sgt. Scott Brown of the Sheriff’s office responded to the area and located the man at a vacant car wash on Lafayette. Brown spoke with the man and determined that he was being untruthful and evasive when asked about his identity and reason for loitering. Brown was able to determine that the suspect was actually Bruce E. Thomas, who was wanted for escape.

The officer was aware of prior communication concerning the possibility that Thomas was in possession of a firearm and making statements that he would not be re-arrested. Due to that information, Brown did not let Thomas know that he knew the man’s true identity and allowed Thomas to walk south on Lafayette.

Brown kept Thomas in view and requested immediate law enforcement assistance in an effort to safely arrest Thomas.  

Within a few minutes, several Terre Haute Police officers assisted in arresting Thomas on Lafayette Street near Hollywood Avenue. Thomas did not resist arrest and no weapons or contraband were found on his person.

Assisting officers from THPD were John Hopper, Pete Frederick, Sgt. Richard Wallace and the off-duty Chesshir. Seelyville Town Marshal Jason Parker also assisted.

Officer Hopper transported Thomas to the Vigo County Jail, where he was charged with the two arrest warrants.