By Lisa Trigg
TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute man who initially reported the theft of a handgun to police on Sunday has been accused of providing that gun for use in a burglary and robbery on South Sixth Street in exchange for a promise of cash from the robbery.
Joshua Elkins, 21, now faces charges of armed robbery and burglary, both class-B felonies, and false informing, a class-A misdemeanor.
He appeared Tuesday via video in Vigo Superior Court 6, where Detective Troy Pesavento of the Terre Haute Police Department testified that Elkins had reported the theft of the gun about three-and-a-half hours after the South Sixth Street robbery.
Dante Riley, 18, and Joshua Estremera, 19, were arrested Sunday afternoon for burglary and robbery of the Sixth Street residence, in which a couple allegedly was held at gunpoint. A 17-year-old male also was arrested for the incident.
Police had located a vehicle matching the description given by the alleged victims in the home invasion. The vehicle was located about a block from the couple’s home, and the three suspects were captured. Police said they also recovered items reported stolen from the Sixth Street residence.
On Tuesday morning, with information they had learned that contradicted Elkins’ stolen gun report, detectives Pesavento and Jonathan Vandevender spoke to Elkins. They said he confirmed that his gun had not been stolen and that he had given it for use in the robbery, expecting $150 and the return of the gun.
Elkins was arrested on preliminary charges of armed robbery and burglary as well as false informing.
Judge Michael Lewis found probable cause for Elkins’ arrest and set his bail at $100,000 with no 10 percent allowed. The judge said the bail was consistent with the bail set for Riley and Estremera.
Elkins will next return to court Friday morning for formalizing of charges.
Court records show Elkins has two prior convictions for theft and as a habitual traffic violator.
Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.