Suspects arrested in aluminum theft from Nappanee business

Brian Ball and John Groves

Two men face accusations in Elkhart County they sold about $20,000 worth of stolen aluminum for less than $1,000 earlier this month.

Brian Ball, 48, Walkteron, and John Groves, 26, Plymouth, were arrested each on a felony charge of theft this week following an investigation by Nappanee police.

Staff at Alexander-Dennis in Nappanee had reported aluminum components, valued at more than $20,000, stolen from the plant Nov. 8, police said in the probable cause affidavit in the case.

Investigators used surveillance video from a nearby facility to initially help identify Ball as a suspect. Under questioning, Ball, denied he was involved in the theft, denied he was in Nappanee the night of the theft and denied he sold stolen metal as scrap, the affidavit shows.

Investigators then tracked the Alexander-Dennis aluminum to a scrap yard in Hamlet. Evidence gathered there indicated Ball had driven the metal to the yard with Groves to scrap it, according to the police document.

When police questioned Ball again, he admitted he stole aluminum from Alexander-Dennis on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 and scrapped it with Groves’ help. Receipts from the sale showed the sales totaled $920. Ball told detectives he paid Groves $350 of the money, indicating an approximate 60/40 split, according to the affidavit.

Ball was jailed Tuesday. Groves was jailed Wednesday, police information shows.

GUNFIRE REPORT

Goshen police officers reported hearing the sounds of gunfire from a nearby area while a traffic stop was underway at Beaver Lane and Chicago Avenue around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

ARRESTS

• William Baker, 21, Goshen, was arrested by Goshen police and jailed on a charge of domestic battery after police responded to an incident in the 1200 block of Chicago Avenue around 3 a.m. Thursday.

• Janet Molina Rodriguez, 22, 2311 Stark Ave., Elkhart, was arrested by Goshen police on a charge of theft at Walmart, 4024 Elkhart Road, around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. Molina Rodriguez was released at the scene with a citation to appear in court.

• Goshen police arrested a juvenile after responding to a domestic battery call at Brookside Manor, 61108 Old C.R. 17, around 1 p.m. Wednesday. The juvenile was released to a guardian with a citation to appear in juvenile court.

• Roger Good Sr., 55, 51525 C.R. 9, Elkhart, was arrested by Bristol police and jailed on charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as on a warrant following a traffic stop at North River Road and Swan Street around 2:10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the probable cause affidavit in the case.

• David Thomas, 66, Nappanee, was arrested by Nappanee police and jailed on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia amid an investigation at an address in the 400 block of South Elm Street around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

CRASHES

• An SUV driven by Luis Reyes Cruz, South Bend, rear-ended a minivan driven by Sergio Reyes Nunez while Reyes Nunez was stopped in traffic on South Main Street near Kercher Road around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The crash pushed Reyes Nunez’s van into the rear of a vehicle driven by Nicholas Brockleman, Goshen, who was also stopped in traffic, Goshen police said in a report.

Reyes Cruz told police his brakes didn’t work when he tried to stop in the line of traffic, according to the report.

Reyes Nunez and Brockleman were both taken to Goshen Hospital to receive treatment for their injuries.

Reyes Cruz did not report any injuries.

• An SUV driven by Heather Morgan, Elkhart, collided with a car driven by Edna Calderon, Elkhart, at C.R. 7 and Ind. 119 north of Nappanee around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Elkhart County police said in a news release.

Morgan and a teenage passenger in her SUV were taken to Goshen Hospital to receive treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. Calderon was not injured, police said.

Morgan was also cited by police for failing to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic.

THEFT

Michael McGee reported to Elkhart County police Wednesday a Cherokee Toy Hauler recreational vehicle was stolen from Team RV Express, 51796 Lovejoy Dr., Middlebury, sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

FRAUD

Maria Silva, Goshen, reported to Goshen police a possible scam around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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