GOSHEN — An Elkhart man, suspected of torching a stolen vehicle and then stealing a Jeep in Goshen, found himself confronted by a victim determined to get his home-built Jeep back.
Joshua Craigo, 20, is jailed on charges of burglary to a business, vehicle theft, theft and resisting law enforcement. A detective arrested him Wednesday morning following the incidents a day before, Goshen police spokeswoman Tina Kingsbury said.
Craigo allegedly stole a vehicle from Elkhart, then set the vehicle on fire after ditching it under a carport Tuesday at a home at 1107 Baker Ave., in Goshen, according to Kingsbury and police reports.
Police and firefighters were called to the fire around 7:40 a.m. About 10 minutes after they responded to that, Jason Sharp reported to police his Jeep Wrangler was stolen from his home at 311 S. Indiana Ave., a short distance east of the fire scene, police reports show.
Sharp also posted the theft to his Facebook page. He updated it later with details about confronting the suspect, apparently Craigo, and getting his vehicle back.
“I encountered the guy at Shanklin (Park) in my Jeep. I blocked the entrance with my nephew’s car as he was trying to exit the park. As he approached me I shouted for him to stop as I drew my firearm,” Sharp posted. “He jumped the curb and drove off-road back toward the river.”
Police arrived at the park then and pursued the suspect, he said.
For Sharp, the situation wasn’t just about going after an auto thief, but about recovering a labor of love. He and his family built the Jeep, he said.
“There isn’t a single bolt on it that we haven’t turned. They have helped do so much on it, including rebuilding and swapping the engine,” Sharp posted, adding while he doesn’t need the vehicle to be happy, he’s glad to have it back. “Jeep or not we will be happy, but we truly love being happy in that Jeep together!”
As of Wednesday evening, Indiana’s online portal for viewing legal cases did not show case information under Craigo’s name related to Tuesday morning’s auto incidents. When the case becomes available, a probable cause affidavit filed with it should provide further details of the situation and account for the charges against Craigo.