Pair arrested for multiple vehicle thefts, drugs

Crime

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Noble County prosecutor requested a 72 hour hold on a theft suspect Friday so the office can consider additional charges.

The charges come after a week-long investigation that started after a string of vehicle break-ins in Avilla. It ended with two people behind bars on various charges, according to the Avilla Police Department.

The department said it was called to the Group Dekko Plant on July 13 after several people reported broken windows and items stolen from vehicles.

As officers were taking reports one victim said her credit card was used at a gas station in Fort Wayne at Lima Road and Washington Center Road, according to a police report. Investigators reviewed surveillance video at the gas station and were able to enhance the images. In an attempt to identify persons responsible for the thefts in Avilla, police placed the images at the site of the theft and on social media.

Pictured are Boni Lou Coffelt (left) and Timothy M. Sillaway (right).

Investigators said they were able to identify persons of interest and the vehicle after several tips from the general public.

Thursday, police had a break in the case when a description matching the vehicle and possible suspects was reported to police. A police statement said the suspects were spotted at a South Main Street gas station in Kendallville around 8:50 p.m. Police officers in Kendallville made contact with the individuals. The statement said Kendallville and Avilla police officers found numerous stolen items in the vehicle along with methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia.

Investigators said the recovered items were determined to be stolen from Avilla, Rome City, LaGrange County, and Elkhart County.

The investigation led to the arrest of Boni L. Coffelt, 30, Albion. Coffelt is being held in the Noble County Jail without bond on initial charges of theft and possession of methamphetamine. A police statement indicated suspects were located in Kendallville, but it’s unclear why only one person was arrested.

Because of the theft investigation, law enforcement from Kendallville, Avilla, Rome City, Albion, the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, and Indiana State Police executed a search warrant at 112 South Riley Street, Kendallville, in an attempt to recover other stolen property and possible narcotics.

Investigators found numerous items in the home including prescription drugs, methamphetamine, paraphernalia, and stolen property, according to a police statement.

Police then went to Dexter Axle Company in Albion to arrest Timothy M. Sillaway, 51, Kendallville, on initial charges of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. He was being held in the Noble County Jail on $4,500 bond. It’s unclear if Sillaway was an initial suspect in the theft investigation.

The Noble County Prosecutor’s Office is looking over the case and additional charges could be filed against Coffelt and Sillaway.

A third person was arrested in connection to the case, but not the robberies. He faces drug charges from the scene where victim’s belongings were collected.

Police are still investigating but believe more than 20 vehicles were broken in to over the last week.

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