Police: Engine trouble slows Danville foreclosure thieves

Indianapolis

Two alleged Danville thieves were arrested and put in the Hendricks County Jail Thursday. 

Steven Atkins and Nick King are accused of taking items from foreclosed homes, then selling what they stole. 

Leeann Bowers said she didn't think twice when a white box truck pulled into her neighborhood.

"They said they were there switching out appliances and that was it," said Bowers. "I never thought twice about it, nobody did."

One of the men had a key to the house and they acted like they were supposed to be there.  These men were not replacing appliances though, according to police they were taking them.

"I was shocked, I was really shocked," said Bowers.  "I could not believe that was what they were doing over there. 

"It really kind of shook me up because I had no idea that they were robbing people right in the middle of the day and I saw the whole thing."

The truck itself was allegedly stolen by King from an Indianapolis area auto repair shop where his father works.  The items inside the truck included things like lawnmowers and computers.  Also, $6,000 worth of fire gear was taken, a gas mask, a Marion County Sheriff's uniform, even a gun.

"It really makes you wonder what individuals of this caliber are doing with this equipment," said William Wright, Danville Police Department Investigator. 

"Are they out there impersonating public servants?  Are they using it to gain access to things they should not have?  There is a reason they have it, and knowing their character, it is not for good use."

Investigator William Wright said this was an inside job, literally.  Atkins inspects foreclosed homes so he had keys to the houses. King reportedly swiped the truck.  Officers found the truck after it broke down behind King's house.

Investigators said what they uncovered is just the tip of a much larger and well-planned operation.

"In one instance they even mentioned that they were taking orders," said Wright.  "They were talking to people saying, 'What do you want? What do you need?' They were almost literally shopping."

During the arrests of King and Atkins, police also found a large scale marijuana growing operation.

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