ANDERSON — An Anderson man is suspected of multiple felonies, including attempted arson for hire and corrupt business influence, according to a nine-page charging document. He is also accused of being on the run from law enforcement in two counties for more than a year.
Charles Everett Peters Jr., 39, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of Level 4 felony attempted arson for hire, Level 5 felony burglary, Level 5 felony corrupt business influence, Level 5 felony theft, four counts of Level 6 felony theft, two counts of Level 6 felony auto theft, Level 6 felony attempted theft and Class A misdemeanor attempted theft.
Several businesses in Madison and Hamilton counties allege Peters stole property from them including a John Deere Gator from Anderson University, a power post-hole digger and log splitter from Fishers Do-It Center and a backhoe and Bobcat from Frederick’s Inc., Pendleton, according to several affidavits of probable cause by Trent Chamberlin of the Anderson Police Department.
Other items Peters is accused of stealing include two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a Kawasaki four-wheeler, Yamaha dirt bike and $41,300 worth of motorcycle and jet ski parts, according to the affidavit.
The thefts occurred in 2017 and 2018.
Anderson police conducted a search warrant Jan. 5, 2018, in the 1500 block of Cincinnati Avenue for items Peters was suspected of stealing.
“Due to the extreme weather, the time of day, the amount and size of items involved as well as several victims, police were unable to collect all the items during the initial raid,” Chamberlin said in the affidavit.
In an additional affidavit, Scott Sanderson of the Anderson Police Department said every outbuilding “was unusually screwed shut all the way around all of the doors.”
“Stolen items were found in every location on the property,” he said in the affidavit.
Sanderson said a number of the items located on the property were dismantled and serial numbers removed, but he estimated more than $140,000 worth of stolen property was seized in the search.
“The items were so numerous, the victim had to rent a 16-foot U-Haul and several trips still had to be made to retrieve all his items,” according to Chamberlin’s affidavit.
Peters is accused of offering one of the witnesses in the case “anything he wanted” to burn the garage overnight after Anderson police suspended their search of the property on Cincinnati Avenue in 2018.
A warrant was issued to arrest Peters in both Madison and Hamilton counties in 2018, but police were unable to locate Peters until his arrest on Thursday.
In his affidavit, Chamberlin said family members said Peters was hiding from the police. He also took statements from two people who said Peters would find places to target while working for his father’s company, Anderson Glass.
His father, Charles Peters, denied both the allegation his son was looking for places to commit crimes while working for him and that he was hiding from police.
“He was not hiding — he went somewhere to get a job, trying to raise money for a lawyer,” said Charles Peters. “He didn’t hide. I mean, he sneaked around, but he was just trying to work for money. He didn’t leave the state.”
Charles Peters said the police never talked to him about the allegations against his son and his son did not engage in criminal activity during the eight to 10 years that he worked at Anderson Glass.
“I didn’t know nothing about any of this stuff till it happened,” he said.
Charles Peters said his son became involved in drugs around the time of the alleged incidents.
“I think it was all over drugs,” he said.
Bond for Charles Everett Peters Jr. was set at $20,000 full cash due to his “significant criminal history” and because he is considered a flight risk, according to charging documents.
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