The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

May 22, 2013

Madison County burglary suspect found in Fort Wayne

PENDLETON, Ind. — A man believed to be responsible for a double burglary a month and a half ago was arrested Tuesday.

Steven Johnson, 37, of Fort Wayne, faces two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, and parole violations for allegedly breaking into two homes near Pendleton on the morning of April 9 and stealing several items, according to a probable cause affidavit. As of Wednesday evening, Johnson was still in custody in Madison County Jail on $40,000 bond.

According to the report, police responded to a burglary early on April 9 in the 4400 West block of County Road 900 South, across the street from the Indiana State Police Pendleton Post. Items including a purse, a laptop, a reciprocating saw, electric shears, a cellphone and remote-controlled helicopters had been stolen from two adjacent homes.

Later that morning, a credit card from the stolen purse was used to purchase a TV at a Wal-Mart in Fort Wayne. Police tracked the serial number of the TV, which was later pawned at a Fort Wayne pawn shop.

Detectives used the ticket from the pawn shop to identify Johnson, who appeared to be the same man who purchased the TV, based on surveillance footage from Wal-Mart. Other items like the electric shears and helicopters were also found at pawn shops and tracked back to Johnson and his girlfriend.

Madison County sheriff’s deputies tracked Johnson to his hometown of Fort Wayne Tuesday afternoon. In an interview with investigators, the affidavit said, Johnson admitted he and his girlfriend had used the stolen credit card and pawned the items but denied committing the burglaries. He said he received the items from a man but refused to give further details.

According to public records, Johnson pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and involuntary manslaughter in 2002 and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He had the suspended portion of his sentence revoked twice.

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @AggieJack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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