KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Justin B. Ottinger, 34, 3520 N. 900W, Cromwell, was arrested Sunday on a warrant on charges of burglary, a level 4 felony and theft, a level 6 felony. He is one of four individuals wanted in connection with a rash of burglaries in the northern part of Kosciusko County.
One of the individuals, Scott Noble, 26, 14290 US 6, Syracuse, who was recently charged with arson in a house fire in Milford, is currently in the Noble County Jail on two counts of burglary, a level 4 and level 5 felony; and three counts of auto theft, level 6 felonies. He is being held in that jail on $24,500 surety and cash bonds. The warrant for Noble in Kosciusko County charges him with three counts of burglary, both level 4 felonies, and three counts of theft, level 6 felonies.
A warrant has also been issued for Chandler M. Hyndman, 22, 1833 N. SR 5, Cromwell. Paperwork on a fourth individual has not yet been filed. Hyndman is facing charges of three counts of burglary, level 4 felonies; and three counts of theft, level 6 felonies.
Charges against the four men were filed Oct. 17 in Kosciusko Superior Courts 2 and 3.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Bruce Roberts notified the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Aug. 18, an air compressor, photogenic light, ammo box and two extension cords were stolen from his garage. Jeffery Wilson reported Aug. 20, a battery box, Dell memory box, checks and memory cards were stolen from his residence. Several days later Ryan Christner advised multiple firearms, compound bow, digital camera, crossbow, zero turn lawnmower and weed eater were taken from his residence.
Investigating officers received information the items were at Ottinger’s residence in Noble County. Armed with a search warrant, they found items belonging to Wilson, Roberts and Christner. Ottinger allegedly told police Noble, Hyndman and another male had burglarized Christner’s residence. Hyndman alleged told police they stole the zero turn lawnmower and were driving it down the road, but it was going too slow so they put it into the weeds. Hyndman allegedly took police to where it was located and police were able to recover the riding lawnmower.
During the investigation police learned Hyndman and Noble burglarized Roberts residence and Wilson’s residence. Involvement of burglaries and thefts in other areas were also discovered, including a number of motorcycles
Remaining items taken in the thefts were found at Noble’s residence.
The recovered items found in Kosciusko County as well as recovered items in several Noble County cases solved a number of burglaries in the northern part of the county.
Noble County Cases Connected
Events in Noble County began occurring the same time as the thefts in Kosciusko County. Noble County Police responded to the theft of a motorcycle in Cromwell Aug. 18. A motorcycle and license plate were recovered by Topeka Police Aug. 25. Only the license plate belonged to the Cromwell theft.
Later that month Kosciusko County detectives were in contact with Noble County authorities after receiving information a person in that county may be in possession of stolen guns. Police went to speak with the individual and learned he had some guns a friend had given to him, but would not divulge the name of the friend. With permission to search the residence, police found some of the stolen guns.
Police later learned the friend was Noble, and turned over to police a Google Chrome book and a mini tablet.
Through cooperation between Kosciusko County and Noble County detectives items stolen in thefts from both counties were recovered.
The arrest by Ligonier Police Sept. 19 also involved a stolen motorcycle.