For The Record: 12/17

Crime stoppers

JASPER — The Jasper Police Department continues to ask for the public’s help as officers investigate the fraudulent use of a credit card Dec. 8 at Kmart, 723 Third Ave., during which almost $1,500 in merchandise was obtained.

A suspect was a 5-foot-6, brown-haired, white female weighing approximately 200 pounds who was wearing a yellow hooded sweatshirt with the word “Pink” on the front, according to police. The woman, who had an infant with her, put about $1,500 worth of merchandise in a cart of checked out in the electronics department, where a relatively inexperienced employee was running the counter, according to authorities.

Police said the suspect used a fraudulent card that she represented as a debit card to obtain the merchandise. An investigation revealed the card was actually a prepaid gift card that was never registered.

Authorities say the same female tried to obtain merchandise in Henderson and Louisville using the same credit card.

The suspect had another woman accompanying her at the Jasper Kmart. Initially, police could not determine if the other woman was aware that a crime was being committed. Authorities now say the second woman is considered a suspect because she used the same fraudulent credit card at the Sunoco convenience store in Ferdinand. The amount of loss in that incident was around $20, according to Jasper police.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Jasper police at 482-2255 or the department’s anonymous tip line at 481-COPS (2677). Surveillance photos can be found here.


JASPER — The Jasper Police Department took Justin C. Leighty, 30, 4456 Rhine Strasse, into custody Friday afternoon on a Dubois Circuit Court warrant charging him with Class C felony counts of forgery and fraud on a financial institution and Class D felony counts of check fraud and theft.

Court documents regarding the case investigated by Jasper police indicate Leighty took checks belonging to a relative on Nov. 22 and wrote two fraudulent checks totaling $140. The victim went online and noticed that checks had cleared that she did not write. The victim closed the account and reported the crime to police.

Authorities booked Leighty into the Dubois County Security Center at 3:43 p.m. Friday.


HUNTINGBURG — Matthew J. Scales, 29, of 805 E. Seventh St., was taken into custody early today by the Huntingburg Police Department and preliminarily charged with a Class D felony count of domestic battery and misdemeanor counts of interference with reporting a crime and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

Officers called to the report of a domestic disturbance at 3:25 a.m. spoke with a female victim who had suffered a small cut to the right side of her face. The suspect, Scales, had fled when police were called but later returned and was taken into custody. The accident reportedly involved a City of Huntingburg stop sign at Seventh and Jackson streets that was struck by the SUV Scales was driving.

Police transported Scales to Memorial Hospital after the incident for an evaluation.


JASPER — A man was able to drive his pickup truck from the scene of a Monday morning collision with a deer along a county road west of Jasper.

Mark A. Lueken, 56, of 1554 Grandview Drive, was eastbound on Jasper-Dubois Road in a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado when the 4:45 a.m. accident occurred west of Beaver Lake Road, according to the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department.

A deputy reported the front driver’s side of Lueken’s truck struck a deer that entered the roadway from the north. Damage was estimated at between $1,000 and $2,500.

The impact killed the deer, according to police.

Fire runs

JASPER — The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department responded to a 10:21 p.m. alarm activation Monday at Holiday Inn Express, 2000 Hospitality Drive.

There was no fire. Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said firefighters arrived and were told hotel staff already had reset the system. A cause for the activation could not be determined, Hochgesang said.

One truck and eight firefighters were on the scene 20 minutes.


IRELAND — An alarm activation at 8:15 a.m. today sent the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department to Ireland Elementary School, 2386 N. 500W.

Fire Chief Stan Seifert said there was no fire. An evacuation that had started was halted and students were sent to their homerooms while firefighters tracked down an obvious alarm system problem.
Seifert said that search found a malfunctioning sensor in the air handling unit.

Firefighters reset the system and Seifert said a technician was en route to address the problem sensor.

Two trucks and eight firefighters were on the scene 50 minutes.


SCHNELLVILLE — Indiana conservation officers have released additional information about a single-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon near the Schnellville Conservation Club that resulted in the death of the driver, identified as Mitch Haas, 21, of 2430 Sunward Drive, Ferdinand.

Conservation officers said Haas had left the Jerry Kern residence shortly before 3 p.m. Soon afterward, Kern left his home and drove west on County Road 175S and discovered Haas’ red 1997 Ford pickup truck overturned on its cab in a creek that parallels the roadway. The cab was partially submerged, according to conservation officers.

A 911 call was logged at the Dubois County Communications Center at 3:04 p.m., according to authorities, and conservation officers, the county sheriff’s department, the Schnellville Volunteer Fire Department and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services responded.

Dubois County Coroner Bob Veatch reported that Haas was freed, resuscitated and transported to Memorial Hospital in Jasper. He was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m. at the hospital, according to the coroner.

An exact cause of death has not been determined and a toxicology report is pending. Authorities said Haas was wearing his seat belt.

Conservation officers said icy road conditions, the roadway’s decline at the accident scene and alcoholic beverages may have been factors.

The accident remains under investigation.

A Hasenour Motor Co. wrecker assisted at the wreck scene.

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