The Herald Bulletin

May 16, 2013

Stolen Harley-Davidsons valued at more than $100,000

Pair arrested on theft, drug charges

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ELWOOD, Ind. — Two vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles valued at more than $100,000 are back home with their Tipton County owner, although both were altered to disguise their appearance, according to Elwood police.

The two motorcycles, which date from the late 1950s and mid-1960s, were key elements in a fast-moving criminal investigation that also involved other stolen vehicles and an alleged drug operation.

Two men were jailed on theft and drug charges in connection with two trailers and the motorcycles that Elwood police discovered Wednesday at the Holiday Manor Mobile Home Park off Ind. 37.

Police said they recovered two trailers stolen recently from Kokomo, the Harleys, an Oldsmobile stolen from Anderson, two methamphetamine labs and other controlled substances. All of the thefts occurred in the past two weeks, said Detective Scott Bertram.

Sherman Jackson, 31, of Elwood, was charged with Class B felony of aiding, inducing, or causing dealing in methamphetamine; Class D felony of maintaining a common nuisance; Class D felony illegal drug lab; four counts of Class D felony receiving stolen property; Class D felony aiding, inducing, or causing auto theft; Class D felony possession of a syringe, and Class B felony dealing a schedule 2 controlled substance.

Michael Hentzell, 51, of Kokomo, was charged with Class B felony dealing a schedule 2 controlled substance, Class D felony possession of a prescription drug, and Class D felony unlawful sale of a prescription drug.

Assistant Chief Phil Caldwell said officers took the two men into custody Wednesday afternoon.

Bertram said the home where the two men were apprehended and the stolen items located had been under surveillance recently because there had been reports of multiple trailers moving in and out of the neighborhood.

A breakthrough for police came when a Kentucky man responded to an advertisement for a trailer on Craigslist. Pictures showed a trailer that was silver and white, but when the man drove to Elwood to retrieve the trailer, it had been painted all black. That made the man suspicious, Bertram said, but he bought the trailer and drove it home. When he got there, however, the man noticed that all identification numbers had been removed.

That’s when he alerted local authorities in Kentucky who, in turn, contacted Elwood police, Bertram said.

Hanna added that a continuing investigation will likely include the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement officials from Kentucky.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.