News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 17, 2014

Two men face charges after taking van for joy ride

Vehicle found stuck on railroad tracks burning

TERRE HAUTE — Two Terre Haute men face criminal charges after they were joy riding in a van and later set the vehicle on fire, police said.

Arson investigator Norm Loudermilk testified Wednesday in Vigo Superior Court 3 that the two 18-year-old suspects talked to police about the incident after they were arrested late Wednesday.

At about 11:50 p.m., Taylor Rogers and Dalton Pryor were found crouched and hiding near the burning vehicle that had became hung up on railroad tracks near Coy Park north of Maple Avenue near 18th Street, police said.

Loudermilk said that Rogers and Pryor stated that they had been out walking around with two juvenile females and another adult male when they found some keys lying on the ground near a van. They picked up the keys, unlocked the vehicle and then drove around, Loudermilk said, eventually getting the vehicle stuck on the railroad tracks after a tire flattened.

When they could not push the van off the tracks, he said, one of the females took off an extra shirt, that was then stuffed into the neck of the fuel tank. The shirt was then set on fire and the group dispersed.

People in the area reported the suspect activity near a park and softball diamonds, and as emergency personnel approached, they found the vehicle on fire.

Judge David Bolk found probable cause for Rogers’ and Pryor’s arrests on preliminary charges of arson and auto theft. They are to return to court Tuesday for the filing of formal charges. Bail is set at $35,000 with no 10 percent allowed for each defendant.

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