WARSAW — A Warsaw male, previously convicted of auto theft, was arrested after he took a friend’s vehicle, waved down a passerby and attempted to steal another vehicle.
Larry Duane Potts, 36, 496 Clinic Court, Warsaw, is being charged with robbery, a level 5 felony; auto theft, a level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor; and driving while suspended, a class A misdemeanor.
On Jan 1, Potts called into dispatch for a welfare check on a friend. An officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department responded to the friend’s residence. The friend advised that Potts was at his residence when he grabbed the friend’s van keys and left the area. The friend decided not to prosecute Potts for taking his vehicle.
Later, dispatch was advised that a male subject was waving people down in front of Walmart. A caller advised that he had given the male subject a ride to the area of the Warsaw airport.
An officer with the Winona Lake Police Department responded to the area and was flagged down by subject. The male advised that someone on the roadway had flagged him down and stolen his 2017 Jeep. The officer observed the Jeep in front of him and drove up behind it. The male driver, Potts, jumped out of the vehicle and ran away. The officer caught Potts, identified him and discovered that his license was suspended prior.
The owner of the Jeep advised that he was driving west when he noticed a male subject lying in the ditch and waving his hands for help. The driver pulled over and started to open his door when Potts opened the passenger door. Potts jumped into the vehicle and forcibly shoved the driver out of the vehicle. The driver advised that he was in fear for his life.
Potts attempted to drive the vehicle away, but when a door is open the vehicle goes into safety mode and locks the emergency brake. Potts had the accelerator to the floor but was unable to go very fast and left skid marks on the roadway.
Potts admitted that he took his friend’s vehicle. Potts also admitted to taking the passerby’s black Jeep, but stated that the driver had simply gotten out of the vehicle.
Potts was previously convicted of auto theft on Jan. 19, 2016 in Kosciusko County.
He was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail on Jan. 2 with $5,250 surety and cash bond.