On Thursday, December 1, 2011 at about 10:10 pm Ripley County Communications received a report of a single vehicle accident with injuries located at 2248 North State Rd 101, Milan.  When Deputy Marshal Jeremy Ison arrived on scene, he found a male subject, later identified as 27 year old Jeremy L. Brown of Milan, trapped inside the wreckage and was unresponsive.  The initial investigation showed Brown had been operating a blue 1992 Buick passenger car heading southbound on State road 101 when for unknown reasons he traveled off the west side of the roadway, overcorrecting and then traveling off the east side of the roadway where he struck a concrete waterway, tree, and utility pole.  The vehicle "barrel-rolled" several times and even "end for end" before coming to a rest.  Brown had to be extracted from the vehicle by Milan Fire.  Rescue 30 transported Brown to a landing zone where he was flown by Stat-flight to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio to be treated for injuries he sustained in the crash.  It appeared that Brown was not wearing a seat belt at the time or the crash, and Officers believe alcohol and speed played a major factor in the crash.  REMC responded to the area because of power lines down and the surrounding area without power due to the crash.  The crash is still under investigation.

On Monday night, November 21, at approximately 6:25PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries located on Michigan Road, south of Fairground Road near Osgood.  Arriving on scene, deputies learned that 50-year-old Woodie L. Sizemore Jr. of Holton, had been traveling south on Michigan Road when his 1993 GMC pickup truck went off the roadway on the right, overturning, and pinning Sizemore inside the vehicle.  Sizemore, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, had to be extricated and was transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries by Rescue 69.

On Monday night, November 21, at approximately 6:45 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident located on Friendship Road at the intersection of CR 300 South, near Elrod.  Arriving on scene, deputies found that 67-year-old Kenneth L. Kuhlman of Cross Plains, had been traveling south on Friendship Road when he attempted to negotiate a curve, losing control of the 2006 Chevrolet Colorado he was operating, running off the right hand side of the road, striking a guide rail, and overturning.  Kuhlman, who was the driver and only occupant of the vehicle, was transported to Dearborn County Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening head injuries by Rescue 69.

Due to a trademark ownership of "Shop with a Cop" The Fraternal Order of Police can no longer use that term in fund raising or advertising efforts.  The Official Term now trademarked by the Fraternal Order of Police is:  "FOP Cops and Kids" The Christmas shopping program in our area will operate under this term and the public needs to know that our program will continue as in the past but now under this phrase
"FOP Cops and Kids" Christmas shopping spree will take place on December 17th at Alco in Versailles

Wm. R.Rayner Lodge is accepting donations to continued to support this areas program
Donations may be sent to
Wm R. Rayner Lodge #177
Att: Sec. Jeff Thielking
406 Catherine Street
Batesville, IN 47006
Checks may be written out to " FOP Cops and Kids #177 or Wm R. Rayner Lodge #177
The company that holds the copyright is CJW, Inc., a small, private telemarketing company based in Ohio. The owner of CJW, Inc., is Edward Wiza.
Before starting CJW, Mr. Wiza was General Manager and Vice President for JAK Productions, the fundraising company at the center of the bankruptcy of the Indiana Troopers Association and the current problems with fundraising for the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police. JAK Productions was also fined $300,000 by the Federal Trade Commission for violating telemarketing laws. Mr. Wiza was sued by JAK Productions for attempting to poach clients and taking confidential information with him when he left the firm in 1991.  According to court documents, Ed Wiza terminated his employment with JAK Productions on November 25, 1991. That is the same date CJW, Inc. claims as the “first use” in its trademark filings for “Shop With A Cop.” The trademark was officially filed on November 2, 1995, and finally registered on December 10, 1996.  It appears that the local FOP’s program predates CJW’s first use of the term, but it’s unclear whether the moniker started the same time as the program. According to the FOP Lodge 88 website, “Since 1990 during the month of December, FOP 88 has provided a joyful holiday for underprivileged children in the Monroe county [sic] area who, without this program, may not experience one.”

On Tuesday, November 8, at approximately 5:49 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries located on US 50 near CR 400 west, east of Holton.  Once arriving on scene, Deputies found that 50 year old Arlan E. West, of Kingman Arizona, had been traveling eastbound on US 50 operating a 2011 Volvo semi tractor pulling a 53’ box trailer when the vehicle traveled off the right hand side of the roadway, colliding with an earth embankment, injuring his passenger, 34 year old James C. Helund of Lake City, Florida, who had been asleep in the tractor's bunk at the time of impact.  Kingman was uninjured in the accident, however his passenger, Helund, was airlifted from the scene by University of Cincinnati Aircare for treatment of internal injuries.  Traffic on US 50 was impeded for approximately 3 hours while emergency crews worked at the scene.

On Monday, November 7, 2011 at approximately 4:45 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving a motorcycle and injuries located on SR 48 east of Napoleon.  When officers arrived on scene it was discovered that 48 year old Judith M. Schalk, of Milan, had been traveling west on SR 48 when she lost control of the 1980 Harley Davidson motorcycle she was operating.  As she came into a curve, she ran off the left side of the roadway, and collided with the ditch.  Schalk, who was wearing a helmet, received injuries to her face and head, and was transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital for treatment of non life threatening injuries

On Wednesday November 2, 2011 at about 05:03 pm Ripley County Communications received a report of a single vehicle accident with injuries involving a motorcycle located at County Road 500 N. and County Road 800 E. in Ripley County.

Susan M. Roysden, of Milan, told officers they were riding their motorcycle eastbound on County Road 500 N. approaching a left hand curve when a tan SUV came around the curve running them off the roadway. Anyone with information on this investigation should contact the Sheriff's Office at 812.689.5558, or 812.689.5555, or your local law enforcement agency.

09/22/2011 United States Attorney's Office working to target violent criminals whop prey on Hoosier communities

Of the more than 4,300 children killed or injured in Indiana motor vehicle collisions last year, most were either unrestrained or improperly restrained. While most parents understand the importance of using car seats few know how to properly select or install the safety devices. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a properly installed car seat can reduce a child's risk of injury in a motor vehicle collision by up to 70 percent.  More than 20 seat check clinics have been planned across Indiana for National Child Passenger Safety Week, all of which are free. For a listing of those events, go to www.preventinjury.org or call 1-800-KID-N-CAR.  To learn more about National Child Passenger Safety Week, download car seat recommendations, or find a permanent fitting station in your area, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS.

On Tuesday morning, Sept 6, at about 6:45am, Sheriff Tom Grills, continuing the investigation into the escape, went to a residence located on SR 48 owned by the family of Stanley Short.  Sheriff Grills, and deputies, felt that Short at some point would come to the property to seek assistance and his personal belongings.  Deputies were at the residence last night looking for Short with negative contact. While the Sheriff was at the residence, he located Short sleeping in a grass hopper a couple hundred feet south of the residence next to the garden and some tall weeds.   Short was taken into custody without incident by the Sheriff, and is currently back at the Ripley County Jail.  The Sheriff’s Office will forward escape and criminal mischief charges to the Prosecutor for formal filing.

On Sunday night, September 4, hours after Huskey escaped, two Reserve Deputies for the Sheriff’s Office acting on a tip from a citizen took Huskey back into custody without incident.

The Ripley County Jail is back to normal operation and the Sheriff is working with the Commissioners and the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) to fix the fencing that was damaged and make the recreation area more secure.  There will be another inspection and outside resources brought in to audit policy and procedure to enhance operations, if need be. 

Sheriff Grills noted, “ The recreation yard was installed in 2003 and inspected to meet requirements.   It was revisited by administration at the time the canopy was installed to cover the communications center entrance.   At that time administration felt it was adequate, but we now know it was not.    The problem has been addressed and we do not anticipate any future issues.  The jail staff responded appropriately and followed proper procedure and protocol in this incident to keep from having any further incidents in the jail.  The staff should be commended on their effort.  The response and operation to locate the escapees and bring them back into custody went as good as could be expected under the circumstances.   I am proud of my team.”  The IDOC has issued the Ripley County Jail excellent annual inspections since 2008.

A tip to the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office results in a multi agency apprehension of an accused Wanted Violent Felon in Ripley County.  On Tuesday afternoon, July 26, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation, which resulted in the exposure of 42-year-old Ripley County resident, Tony Ray Campos of Napoleon, who was wanted on a serious felony arrest warrant out of Dearborn County, Indiana.  The Sheriff’s Office, organizing with the Holton and Milan Police Departments in the town of Napoleon, located Campos operating a 2003 maroon Trail Blazer and initiated a traffic stop, taking Campos into custody without incident. 

Tony R. Campos was transported to the Ripley County Jail where he was held on Dearborn County Charges of;

Count I             Criminal Confinement with a Deadly Weapon, Class B Felony.

Count II             Burglary, Class A Felony.

Count III            Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Class C Felony.

Count IV            Intimidation with a Deadly Weapon, Class C. Felony.

Campos will be held at the Ripley County Jail until pickup by Dearborn County authorities.  All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

On July 20, 2011,  the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of vehicles being struck by rocks while traveling on the roadway.  The incident reportedly occurred in the Osgood and Versailles area.  Officers were unable to locate the suspect vehicle at that time. Later, a second report led to the apprehension of a vehicle and four suspects.  The subjects were detained at the Ripley County Fairgrounds in Osgood. It is believed the subjects are responsible for damage in Osgood and the surrounding area to parked and moving vehicles. Other responding agencies assisting the Sheriff's Office include Versailles Police, Osgood Police, and Milan Police. Anyone with information concerning this incident can contact the Ripley County Sheriff Office.  The incident is currently under investigation by Cpl. Rob Bradley, Ripley County Sheriff Office.

On Tuesday, July 18, 2011 at approximately 8:21 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries on US 50, west of Holton, near CR 950 west.  Once arriving on scene, officers found that 41-year-old Patrick P. Allen of Batesville had been traveling east on US 50 along with passenger, 37- year- old Tomya L. Allen also of Batesville, in a 2004 Freightliner Semi tractor pulling a box trailer, when the tractor trailer went off the roadway on the left side of US 50, colliding with a guide rail and careening over an embankment into a body of water known as Lake Williams, before coming to rest on it side, entrapping both occupants.  Both Patrick & Tomya Allen had to be extricated from the tractor-trailer before being airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by Lifeline for treatment of internal injuries received in the accident.  US 50 was subsequently shut down for several hours into the evening while cleanup crews removed the wreckage.  The accident is currently under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office who were assisted at the scene by Rescue 69, Ripley County Medic, Holton Fire, Versailles Fire, Jennings County Medic, Milan Rescue 30, Holton Police Department, Osgood Police Department, Versailles Police Department, Indiana State Police and Ripley County Emergency Management.

On Tuesday July 5, 2011 at approximately 7:44 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported of a single vehicle accident with injuries located on CR 625 east near Milan.  Once arriving on scene, Officers discovered that 16 year old Brandon A. Barrett of Milan, had been traveling south on CR 625 east when the 1999 Ford pickup he was operating, left the roadway on the right side, causing Barrett to lose control of the vehicle, traveling back left across the roadway and impacting with a tree and overturning.  Barrett, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and airlifted to the University of Cincinnati Hospital by University of Cincinnati Air Care for treatment of internal injuries along with massive abrasions.  The accident is currently under investigation by Ripley County Sheriff's Deputy, Jason Dickerson who was assisted at the scene by Milan Fire, Milan Rescue 30, Ripley County Medic & Milan Police Department.

On Sunday, July 3, 2011 at approximately 12:20 AM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries located on US 50, near Holton.  Ripley County Communications received information from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office reporting that they had received a cellular 911 call from a female who stated that she had been involved in an accident while traveling on US 50 near the town of Holton when her vehicle veered off the roadway, over an embankment and overturning, trapping the female driver inside.  As Rescue personnel responded to the area, information was relayed by the trapped female to 911 dispatchers that she could hear cars passing on the highway but no one could see her.  At approximately 12:38 AM, after frantic searching by Rescue Responders, the trapped female reported that she could hear sirens from emergency vehicles going by her, leading to her discovery and extrication from the vehicle.  The investigation revealed that 52 year old Denise A. Hunger of Versailles, had been the lone occupant of a 2002 Nissan Altima, traveling east on US 50 when her vehicle veered off the left hand side of the roadway, near School Street in Holton, traveling over an embankment and colliding with a ditch, causing the vehicle to overturn in a small stream, trapping Hunger in the vehicle and concealing it from passerby’s and responding personnel.  Hunger, who was extricated from the vehicle by Versailles Fire Rescue Truck 61, suffered a broken ankle and abrasions. She was airlifted from the scene by PHI and transported to the University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of her injuries.  The accident is currently under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office who was assisted at the scene by Holton Fire, Indiana State Police, Rescue 69 and Ripley County Medic.   

On Saturday, July 2, 2011 at approximately 5:28 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries located on CR 200 south, near Cavehill Rd, Versailles.  Once arriving on scene, Officers found that 24 year old Lindsey A. Brunkel of Cincinnati had been operating a brown 1998 Chevrolet mini van, traveling west on CR 200 south, when, Brunkel stated she encountered a black motorcycle operated by a male driver and a female passenger, traveling east on CR 200 south, in her lane of travel. Brunkel stated she swerved right to avoid a head on collision with the motorcycle, causing her to run off the roadway on the right and lose control of her vehicle, colliding with a ditch and overturning.  Brunkel reported that the motorcyclist continued on without stopping at the scene.  Injured in the accident was the driver, Lindsey A. Brunkel, who suffered abrasions. Two passengers, 43 year old Melissa A. Brunkel, also of Cincinnati and a three year old child who was a passenger in the vehicle, restrained in a child seat, both suffering minor abrasions as well. All three were transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital for treatment of their injuries by Rescue 69.  The accident which is currently under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was also assisted at the scene by the Versailles Fire Department. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office.

On Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at approximately 8:19 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a Burglary in progress located near Delaware, in the 2000 block of north Delaware Road. The homeowner reported that he had observed two white males operating a smaller pickup truck, arrive at his residence and enter his garage, removing items, and fleeing from the scene. The homeowner, who had called 911 during the incident, was able to give a description of the subjects along with the vehicle, resulting in their apprehension by Ripley County Sheriff’s Deputies who observed the suspect vehicle traveling south on CR 300 East, a couple of miles away from the residence.  As a result of an investigation into the incident conducted by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office and Ripley County Sheriff’s Detective, Abraham Hildebrand, both suspects were taken into custody.  Arrested were, 18-year-old Andrew E. Hill & 18-year-old Michael A. Adams, both of Osgood Indiana. Hill & Adams were transported to the Ripley County Jail where they were incarcerated, pending court for Burglary of a Structure, Class C Felony, Theft, Class D Felony & Possession of Marijuana, Class A Misdemeanor. Charges have been filed in Ripley Circuit Court by Prosecuting Attorney Ric Hertel in the matter.  The criminal acts are currently still under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was assisted by both the Holton & Milan Police Departments.  All Defendants’ are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, while on patrol in the Morris area, Ripley County Reserve Deputy, Kendall Hankins, observed what appeared to be a motorist in possible distress, slumped over in the seat of a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu as it sat in a local business parking lot.  As Deputy Hankins investigated, he discovered 26-year-old Marcus A. Koster of Sunman, was not in medical duress, however was found to be in an impaired state and in possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana.  Koster was placed under arrest for Possession of Marijuana, class A Misdemeanor, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and transported to the Ripley County Jail where he was incarcerated, pending bond of $550.00.  All Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

On Saturday, May 14th, 2011 at approximately 8:00 PM, Ripley County Sheriff’s Officers responded to a report of a motor vehicle accident involving a semi tractor-trailer and a passenger car with reported minor injuries on US 50 in Elrod near the Washington Baptist Church. Once arriving at the scene, officers discovered that US 50 was totally blocked by the crashed tractor-trailer.  According to driver and witness statements, 45 year old Lisa K.Vanpelt of Westerville Ohio, was traveling east on US 50 in Elrod, operating a 2003 Toyota Camry, near the area of the Washington Baptist Church, in a no passing zone, as she traveled up the grade, an unknown driver, driving a passenger car, attempted to overtake the Vanpelt vehicle as it traveled east. 34-year-old James C. Taylor of Beebe Arkansas, was traveling west on US 50 operating a 2009 Kenworth semi tractor, pulling a 53 foot box trailer, when he observed two approaching vehicles, crest the hill with one vehicle traveling in his lane.  The Vanpelt vehicle was struck on the driver’s side as the passing vehicle attempted to swerve out of the oncoming trucks lane. Taylor, to avoid a head on collision, steered his tractor-trailer into the ditch on the right, causing him to lose control of the vehicle, coming to rest across both lanes of US 50.       The vehicle reported as the cause of the accident, did not stop at the scene, continuing east on US 50.  The accident is currently under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office who is requesting anyone with information in regards to the accident or the vehicle that left the scene, to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (812) 689-5555 or 5558.

With prescription drug abuse a persistent problem in Indiana, new legislation recently passed will make it easier for Hoosiers to safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs so they aren’t diverted or misused.  House Enrolled Act 1121, which passed the Legislature on Monday, becomes law. The legislation revises statutory and regulatory requirements so pharmacies will be able to accept unused prescription drugs from consumers and dispose of them without the need for a monitoring police presence. To read more: http://intranet.atg.in.local/Pages/PressRelease42811.aspx

On Saturday, April 23, 2011, at approximately 1:26 PM, Ripley County Communications received a 911 report of an accident involving a pedestrian at the intersection of State Road 101 and State Road 46 located, in Penntown. The accident involved a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Marvin F. Kirschner. The pedestrian struck by the vehicle is identified as Jonathan N. Cleary. Ripley County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana Excise Police arrived at the scene, which had closed the North section of State Road 101.  Initial investigation indicated that the vehicle was turning North onto State Road 101 from State Road 46 when the vehicle struck Cleary who was wearing a green, reflective traffic vest standing in the middle of the roadway, between lanes, collecting donations.  Cleary was transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital and believed to have suffered a concussion, fractured collarbone and lacerations to his head. Cleary’s current condition is unknown. The driver didn’t suffer any injuries from the accident and was cited at the scene, then released.

On Saturday, April 23, 2011, at approximately 4:39 AM, Ripley County Communications received a 911 report of a single vehicle accident on US 50 near the Versailles State Park entrance. As Ripley County Sheriff’s units arrived on scene, which had closed both lanes of US 50, it appeared from evidence left that a 1996 Toyota 4x4 pickup driven by KENNETH W. JACKSON III, that the vehicle was westbound on US 50 approaching a curve, crossed over (2) eastbound lanes of traffic, left the south side of the roadway, traveled through a ditch, collided with a guardrail, struck a tree and came to a rest partially in a creek that trapped both driver and a passenger, Lucas W. Shelton.  Both driver and passenger were treated for minor injuries and released from Margaret Mary Community Hospital.

At approximately 7:41 PM on March 30, 2011, Deputies from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, along with Holton, Osgood and Versailles Police Departments, responded to the area of US 50 and Michigan Road for a report of a burglary in progress.  According to Detective Abe Hildebrand at the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, it is believed the suspect(s) had forced entry into Carolyn’s Collectables, an antique store near that intersection, and removed several antiquities and other memorabilia from inside of the establishment.  47-year-old Andrew Lykins, of Osgood was located near the business attempting to flee from the scene on foot.  A short time later, other Sheriff’s Deputies located 37-year-old Troy Porter, also of Osgood, who had left the scene in a vehicle.  The Deputies found the vehicle contained several items that had been taken from inside of the establishment.  Both subjects were arrested  and preliminary charges. Lykins was charged with burglary, theft, and public intoxication. Porter was charged with receiving stolen property, assisting a criminal, and driving while suspended. Charges have been forwarded to the Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office.  The case is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and  the individuals involved are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

On Monday, March 28, 2011 the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office and Holton Police initiated a traffic stop near the town of Holton which resulted in the seizure of Heroin along with drug paraphernalia and the arrest of 28 year old, Joshua A. McCoy of Holton.  Pursuant to the investigation, the case was forwarded to Ripley County Prosecutor, Ric Hertel, resulting in charges being filed against 30 year old Tara M. Bowman of Versailles.  An arrest warrant was issued by the Ripley County Superior Court for the arrest of Tara M. Bowman on April 7th, 2011 for Count I, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Class D Felony. Count II, Possession or Control of a Hypodermic Needle When Used to Violate the Legend Drug Act, Class D Felony & Count III, Possession of Paraphernalia, Class A Misdemeanor.  Subsequently, Tara M. Bowman was arrested and the arrest warrant served on her by Holton Town Marshal, Bob Curl on Sunday, April 10th where she was transported to the Ripley County Jail and incarcerated, pending a bond of $1050.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

On Friday March 4, 2011, at about 2:43 AM Deputies with the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office along with Officers with the Milan Police Department responded to an abandoned residence located at 4506 East County Road 200 North to investigate a suspicious vehicle parked at the vacant residence.

According to Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Detective Abe Hildebrand, the truck was parked at the vacant residence, while the 3 male subjects who occupied it entered Dave’s Auto Salvage on foot.  The 3 subjects removed several automotive radiators from the scrap yard, and were taking them back to the vehicle.  Two of the male subjects were located attempting retrieve the vehicle, which was still under surveillance by Ripley County Deputies.  The two suspects were detained for questioning, and later incarcerated at the Ripley County Jail.  After the execution of a Search Warrant on the truck involved, a large amount of copper wire was found inside the truck.  It was later discovered that the wire had also been stolen earlier that same night from a residence in Dearborn County.  Arrested: Kraig W. King, 18, of Lawrenceburg, Indiana and Shane Mosier, 19, of Moores Hill, Indiana.  The third suspect fled from the area and his current whereabouts are unknown.  The incident is still under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office.  All subjects involved in this incident are innocent until proven guilty.

Around 3:46pm, Sunday, March 6, 2011, 19-year-old Matthew C. Bauman, Sunman, was operating his Honda ATV losing control making the turn into his driveway on County Road 1000 E., near Penntown.  Bauman struck a guardrail, was thrown from the vehicle, and subsequently air lifted to UC Hospital in Cincinnati.  Bauman's injuries consisted of possible broken bones and internal injuries.   Bauman was wearing a helmet which minimized head trauma.  Sgt Marvin Smith is investigating the crash and was assisted at the scene by other Deputies, Sunman Rescue 20, Sunman Fire, Ripley County Medic, and UC Aircare.  The crash is still under investigation.

Sheriff Grills, VINE restores automatic alerts for victims of crime in Ripley County.

Ripley County residences once again have access to fast notification when an offender they wish to track is released or transferred into the custody of another agency.  Sheriff Thomas Grills has entered into an agreement with Louisville-based Appriss to restore the local victim alert system – VINE, or Victim Information and Notification Everyday. Appriss had the contract with counties and the state until June 2010, when the Department of Correction moved to another vendor for its services.  When VINE was in operation previously in Ripley County, more than 500 users were registered.

“Protecting the citizens of Ripley County is our highest priority,” said Sheriff Grills.  I brought VINE to our county originally, and we are grateful they are willing to work with us again.  “VINE provides an added level of protection to victims because it gives them timely and accurate information on offenders,” Sheriff Grills added.

The Website to register for the Appriss service is www.vinelink.com, or users also may call (866) 959-8463. People registering for service are asked to provide the offender’s name or inmate identification number, and may register multiple phone numbers or email address to be notified automatically when offender’s custody status changes.  One benefit of the VINE service is access to live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week for callers requiring additional help.

With the restoration of service, several new features will be added – including a link from the department’s online offender lookup, which will allow users to go directly to the VINE site for registration  VINE BROCHURE


Due to the overwhelming success of the first event, DEA is planning a second National Prescription Drug Take Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 30, 2011.  This will be a great opportunity for those who missed the first event or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of them.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

In an effort to address this problem, DEA, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, conducted the first ever National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, September 25, 2010.  The purpose of this National Take Back Day was to provide a venue for persons who wanted to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.  This effort was a huge success in removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs, particularly controlled substances, from our nation’s medicine cabinets.  There were approximately 3,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation that participated in the event.  All told, the American Public turned in more than 121 tons of pills on this first National Take Back Day.

On Saturday, January 22, 2011, after an extensive investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, working in cooperation with the Milan Police Department, the agencies executed a Search Warrant issued by the Ripley Circuit Court on a Milan residence resulting in the seizure of controlled substances and marijuana, leading to the arrest of two Milan residents.  31 year old Johnny R. Hamlet of Milan was arrested for possession of a schedule II controlled substance, class D Felony & Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, class D Felony.  24 year old Amy N. Mcnutt of Milan was arrested for possession of a schedule II controlled substance, class D Felony & Possession of Marijuana over 30 grams, class D Felony.  Both Hamlet & Mcnutt were transported to the Ripley County Jail where they were incarcerated, pending bond of $1050.00 & bond of $2050.00 for Mcnutt.

On Wednesday January 12, 2011 Ripley County Communications received a report of an accident with injuries involving a pick-up truck and a small utility tractor located on County Road 450 W, just north of 1025 S. in Ripley County. When Ripley County Deputy Steve Sullivan arrived on scene, he found 46 year-old Bradley L. Zimmerman,  Madison, laying in the roadway unconscious. Neighbors were attending to Zimmerman. The preliminary investigation showed Zimmerman was operating a small John Deere Utility Tractor, clearing his neighbors driveway of snow, when he pulled out onto the county road to push snow off the east side of the road. Zimmerman was struck in the right rear tire area of the tractor by a 1997 Ford pick-up being operated by 32 year-old Cesar S. Montero, Dillsboro. The impact ejected Zimmerman from the tractor onto the roadway where he received severe injuries. Zimmerman was transported to Kings Daughter Hospital for injuries he sustained in the accident. Montero told Officers he was northbound on county road 450 W., crested the hill at county road 1025 S, and could see a small Tractor in the roadway.  Montero said the tractor started backing up and due to the snow covered roadway, he was unable to avoid striking the tractor. Montero was not injured in the accident, but was cited for no driver’s license when required and no insurance.

A single vehicle accident claimed the life of a 54 year old Osgood native late New Years Eve night.

According to Sgt. Marvin Smith of the Ripley County Sheriff's Office, 54 year old Bart E. Saylor was south bound on Delaware Road around the 1000 N. block at about 10:22pm, when for reasons unknown at this time his vehicle left the right side of the road and struck several trees head on.  According to evidence at the scene, Mr. Sayler was not wearing a seatbelt and ejected from the vehicle.  Mr. Sayler was transported to Margaret Mary Hospital by Rescue 10, where he succumbed to his life threatening injury.  According to Sgt. Smith the cause of the accident is unknown at this time and is still under investigation.  Evidence at the scene suggests alcohol may have been a factor.

On Friday, December 17, 2010 at approximately 9:50 am, Ripley County Communications received a 911 report of a (2) two vehicle accident involving a large truck and a passenger car on SR 350 approximately .5 mile East of Finks Road near Osgood.  Emergency services personnel responded to the scene and found that 28 year old Tiffany D. Helms of Versailles, was traveling east on SR 350 when she lost control of her 1987 Pontiac passenger vehicle in a blind curve, and began sliding out of control. The Helms vehicle traveled into the east bound lane in the blind curve and was struck broadside by a large Best Way Disposal Services truck being operated by 59 year old Michael W. Shelton of Osgood.  The two vehicles became entangled, and skidded off the roadway on the South side; traveled down a large ravine across a creek, and came to rest on a sparsely wooded embankment. Helms, a single mother of two young children was pronounced deceased at the scene by Ripley County Coroner Ron Buchanan, and Shelton was transported to Margaret Mary Community Hospital in Batesville. Both drivers were entrapped for a period as the Osgood & Delaware Fire Departments worked diligently to free them. The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident and was assisted at the scene by the Indiana State Police; Accident Re-constructionist and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. In addition to numerous volunteers from the two aforementioned the Fire Departments; other agencies assisting at the scene included: Ripley County Paramedics and both Rescue 69 and Rescue 30 members.  After a relatively quiet day on Thursday, December 16th, Ripley County Deputies as well as other local law enforcement began responding to numerous reports of slide-off’s shortly after 6:00 am on Friday morning, and lasting until approximately 1:00 pm. The roadways became icy throughout the county, even as both state and local highway departments worked to keep the roadway’s cleared.

At Approximately 11:30 PM, on Sunday November 21, 2010 Deputies from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single vehicle crash involving injuries on Rosfeld Road just north of Saint Mary’s Road.  According to Deputy Hildebrand with the Sheriff’s Office, the driver of the vehicle, 23-year-old Lynsey Gesell, of Sunman, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.  Evidence at the scene indicated that Gesell was northbound on Rosfeld Road when she lost control of her vehicle for unknown reasons, striking a bridge rail and traveling off of the roadway, and down an embankment into a field.  Gesell was airlifted by University of Cincinnati AirCare to the University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

On Sunday morning, October 31, 2010 at approximately 1:57 AM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries, located on Milan Versailles Pike, west of SR 129. 19 year old, Brendan H. Cutter of Versailles had been operating a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup, traveling west on CR 150 north towards Milan Versailles Pike, when the vehicle he was operating left the roadway on the right side of the road colliding with a tree head on.  Brendan H. Cutter was airlifted from the scene to University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of injuries received in the accident.  His condition is unknown at this time.

On Saturday, October 30, 2010 at approximately 4:46 PM, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a two-vehicle accident involving injuries located on CR 800 south, east of Benham Road.   40-year-old Aaron J. Kostin of Madison, had been traveling east on CR 800 south when the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee he was operating traveled left of center and collided head on with 33 year old Kimberlin D. Keith of Charlestown, who was operating a 2002 Chevrolet pickup traveling west on CR 800 south.  Aaron J. Kostin, who was the only occupant of his vehicle, was not injured in the accident.  Kimberlin D. Keith along with two passengers of her vehicle, 31 year old David Baker and 25 year old John Baker, both of Madison, where all transported to Kings Daughters Hospital for treatment of non life threatening injuries.

October 13, 2010  The Ripley County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle located on North Meridian Street in Sunman. Full Details

On Thursday October 7, 2010 at about 9:49 pm Ripley County Communications received a report of an ATV accident with injuries located at 14278 N. Rosfeld Rd. When Emergency personnel arrived at the residence they were told the victim, 21 year old Jacob E. Luhring, was in a hay field to the east of the residence. The initial investigation showed that Jacob and his brother, 18 year old Ethan Luhring, were riding their quads across a hay field when for unknown reasons Jacob fell from his quad sustaining a severe eye and back injury.  The quad runner stayed on all four wheels and continued for approximately twenty yards before stopping.  

Ethan stated to law enforcement that he did not actually witness the accident but heard it. Ethan rushed to his brother and called 911.  Jacob was flown to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati for the injuries he sustained in the accident.  Alcohol is not believed to be involved in the crash.

10-6-2010  Officers from the Ripley county Sheriff's Office, Holton Police, and Versailles Police, Jennings County Sheriff's Office and Decatur County Sheriff's Office responded to the residence on CR 750E in Columbia Township, Jennings County, near Nebraska to serve an arrest warrant on Jason Q. Daugherty 34, Butlerville.  Officers arrived in the early morning hours to serve the arrest warrant on Daugherty who was wanted for Manufacturing Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony.  Investigators had received a tip that Daugherty would be at this residence.  When officers pulled into the driveway of the home, the individual fled out the rear of the residence and was met by several officers who were waiting in a field at the rear of the home.  He was taken into custody at that time without further incident.  Daugherty had failed to appear for his July Trial in Ripley County and the warrant was issued.  Sheriff Grills noted that all agencies worked well together for a safe outcome.

09.10.2010  Criminal Mischief  The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several criminal mischief cases in the northern part of the county that happened overnight.  Several homes, vehicles, and businesses have had glass windows and lights broken out with rocks and /or landscape stones.  Batesville Police is investigating a similar case as well.  Evidence was collected at the scene in some of the cases, and all incidents are thought to be related.  Damage is estimated around $5000.00.  One victim has offered a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible.  If anyone has information on the incidents described, you are urged to contact the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, 812.689.5558 or 812.689.5555, or Batesville Police, 812.934.3131

On Friday, August 13, at about 2pm, the Ripley County Communications Center received a call of a single vehicle accident on SR 129 near Halcomb’s Home Center.  Units responding arrived to find a 2007 International semi tractor driven by David Scales, Amelia, OH, was driving north and had driven off the road striking the guardrail.  That action caused his load, several bunks of sheetrock, to shift causing the tractor and trailer to overturn.  Scales received minor injuries in the accident and was able to walk away.  SR 129 was closed for a couple hours while the drywall and tractor-trailer were removed.  Sheriff Grills is the investigating officer and was assisted at the scene by other deputies of the Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Rescue 69, Versailles Fire, Ripley County Paramedics, and Indiana State Highway Dept.  The accident is still under investigation.

Semi tractor trailer overturned on US 50 east of the Versailles State Park entrance on Tuesday, August 11.    Complete Details
On Thursday, August 5, 2010, Ripley County Communications received a report of a motorcycle accident with injuries located on US 421 just north of Michigan road in Napoleon.  More Information

On Saturday, August 7th, 2010 at approximately 11:55 PM, Ripley County Sheriff’s Officers responded to a report of a single vehicle accident involving injuries located on SR 101 at the intersection of CR 600 north, approximately 2 miles north of Milan in Ripley County. Evidence at the scene determined that 17 year old Tanner L. Tucker of Versailles Indiana, had been traveling south on SR 101 operating a black 2002 Pontiac Grand AM when for unknown reasons the vehicle left the roadway on the right side colliding with the large Oak tree at the intersection.  Tucker, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, did not survive the accident, being pronounced dead at the scene.

Scam tries to fool seniors over health-care rebate
Fraudulent callers claim new forms, numbers, permissions required

 to get $250 Medicare rebate


INDIANAPOLIS (July 16, 2010) – No matter what anyone on the phone might say, seniors on Medicare don’t have to do anything to receive their $250 rebate check for hitting the “doughnut hole,” the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage.


The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging (IAAAA) warns Indiana seniors not to fall victim to scams taking place in Michigan and other states.


“Scammers are calling or visiting seniors to say they need personal information, such as a Social Security or Medicare number, and/or a signature to process the rebate checks. They don’t,” says Tamra Simpson, program director for SMP (also known as Senior Medicare Patrol). “Seniors should never, ever, give their Social Security or their Medicare number to anyone over the phone, and no forms are needed for these rebates.”


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) automatically mails checks as soon as seniors become eligible. No action on the consumer’s part is required.


President Obama announced the rebates, the first step in eliminating the coverage gap under the Affordable Health Care Act, in late May; checks began going out in June and will be mailed every 30 days as seniors reach the gap. To be eligible, a senior must already have Medicare prescription drug coverage and must not be on the Medicare Extra Help program.


For more information about how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect seniors, they should visit www.healthcare.gov.


The rebate checks will come in an envelope bearing the HHS logo. The return address may be of a contractor hired to conduct the mailings. HHS estimates 4 million Americans will receive the tax-free rebates.


Other scams to watch out for:


Lie: Callers telling seniors they need new Medicare cards because of the new Affordable Health Care Act.

Fact: Seniors need do nothing to receive any benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act.


Lie: Insurance agents claiming that the new health care law requires seniors to change their health care benefits plans, including Part D plans.

Fact: The Affordable Care Act gives seniors more control over their health care choices. No senior is required to make any changes to their Medicare plans. For legitimate information about how the new health care law affects seniors, they should visit www.healthcare.gov.


Lie: An insurance salesman mailed a “release form” to his policyholders that authorized him to make medical decisions for them.

Fact: Never sign a form until you’re sure you completely understand its contents; take nothing for granted. Contact a trusted source or your local SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) office; in Indiana, call 1-800-452-4800 (TDD 1-866-846-0139).


Lie: Callers claiming to represent Medicare and asking for seniors’ Medicare numbers.

Fact: Medicare will never call and ask for anyone’s Medicare number. If you receive such a call, take the person’s name, write down the number he or she is calling from (use your caller ID, if possible), and report the call to your local AAA at 800-986-3505.


The IAAAA urges beneficiaries not to release any Medicare or personal information and to be aware of this and similar scams. If you have received a call similar to this or suspect Medicare fraud of any kind, please contact your local AAA at 800-986-3505.  


The Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, founded in 1978, advocates for quality programs and services for older adults and all persons with disabilities. The IAAAA works with all the state’s 16 Area Agencies on Aging. The Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) were created by state statute in 1973 to deliver services under the Older Americans Act. AAAs are not-for-profit entities providing services to older adults and people with disabilities of any age and their caregivers.


The SMP programs, formerly known as the Senior Medicare Patrol programs, recruit and teach senior volunteers and professionals such as doctors, nurses, accountants, investigators, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, teachers and others to help Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries become better health care consumers. For more information or if you suspect someone is trying to coerce or steal your information, contact your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-986-3505.

FRAUD ALERT-Obituary Scheme

Indiana State Police are investigating a scheme that targets senior citizens.  The suspects are using the obituaries to target recently widowed seniors.  They are then calling these individuals and telling them they need credit card information to prevent undetected fraud.  Once the perpetrator successfully obtains the credit card information they use it to buy expensive lawn mowers.  Please be assertive and ask questions.  Remember not to give out any personal information over the telephone. 

On Tuesday, July 20th at approximately 2:50 AM, Ripley County Sheriff’s Deputy Abraham Hildebrand, while patrolling the Osgood area, observed four males acting suspicious near the intersection of Walnut and Railroad Avenue leading to the arrest of 23-year-old Caleb A. Smith of Lake Orion Michigan for Possession of Marijuana.  Further investigation revealed a second male, 22-year-old Elgin A. Fidell had been involved in an altercation with Smith, prior to Deputy Hildebrand’s arrival involving a drug transaction.  Caleb A. Smith was transported to the Ripley County Jail where he was incarcerated for Possession of Marijuana pending $550.00 bond.  Charging Information’s, pursuant to an investigation, have been forwarded to the Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office for Elgin A. Fidell with one count of Dealing Marijuana, and one count of Battery.  Two other males involved in the incident were found not to be participating in criminal activity and were released.  Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Attorney General Greg Zoeller was in Fort Wayne today to shine the spotlight on illegal credit repair offers. A lawsuit has been filed in Kosciusko County against a for-profit budget management company owned and operated by Bruce D. Atherton, an attorney from Louisville, Ky.  Zoeller’s complaint claims Atherton deceived a Milford, Ind. family into paying him hundreds of dollars for budget management services. Under Indiana law, a budget management company is required to have a license on file with the Indiana Department of Finance which the Attorney General's suit claims Atherton failed to do.  The Attorney General's office has received 87 consumer complaints against credit services organizations including debt consolidation and debt settlement companies so far this year already surpassing the total number of complaints in 2009 which was 69.To read  more: http://intranet.atg.in.local/Pages/PressRelease71510.aspx

News Release Single Vehicle Crash on 07/14/2010

NEWS RELEASE: On July 4, 2010 at about 1127 am, RCCC received a report of a single vehicle personal injury crash on CR 300 W south of US 50.  Randolph Schneider, 21, of Sunman, was southbound in a 1995 Ford F150 when he alleged an oncoming vehicle ran him off the road causing him to strike a concrete culvert.  There was no collision between the two vehicles.  The alleged oncoming vehicle was not located by Deputy Sullivan who responded off duty to assist. Schneider was wearing his seatbelt, which minimized injury.  The other two passengers were not injured. Schneider was transported to MMCH where treated and released. Versailles Fire and Rescue 69, along with Ripley County Paramedics, all assisted Sheriff Grills at the scene. The accident is still under investigation by Sheriff Grills.

Indianapolis, IN (July 1, 2010) The Indiana Department of Correction, in partnership with the Indiana Sheriffs' Association, currently provides an automated system to alert residents living near a state correctional facility of public safety emergencies. As of July 1, 2010 this service will be combined with the Department’s victim notification service, Indiana SAVIN.

The ALERT Notification Service keeps residents informed of prison escapes as well as any potential environmental hazards. In the event of an escape, all registrants will receive detailed information about the escapee, including a physical description and the time of the escape. The automated calls will also relay specific information on other emergencies that could impact nearby homes.

Residents who sign up for the program will be notified via telephone or email. To be notified of an alert, residents must first register for the service. All individuals who were previously registered with the ALERT notification system will still be registered after July 1 and will continue to receive notifications.

To register visit Indianasavin.in.gov or call toll-free 866-891-0330

Widespread Medical Scam Claiming Hoosier Victims

Hoosiers across Indiana are being tricked into revealing their Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers and other personal data in recent scams. In this medical scam, con artists are calling beneficiaries from out-of-state phone numbers claiming to be from Medicare or what sounds like "Med-care." Complaints of similar calls have been reported from every area code in Indiana.

The callers initially seem legitimate because they already know the beneficiary's name, doctor and medical condition. Reports say each caller has a foreign accent and offers diabetic testing supplies, heating pads, back braces and free blood pressure testing supplies.

The caller asks if the beneficiary has "the red, white and blue card," then for the Medicare number on the card and the maiden name of the patient's parent. In some instances, the caller also solicits the patient's date of birth.

If you believe you’ve been scammed, you can file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division online at www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1-800-382-5516.

Victims are also encouraged to follow these steps to prevent any additional fraudulent use of their information:

  • Contact Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging (IAAAA) at 317-205-9201. IAAAA can report information to Medicare to flag the victim's Medicare account.

  • Contact your doctor's office and tell them not to approve any requests for prescriptions for durable medical equipment.

  • Review new Medicare Summary Notices and report any fraudulent activity to Medicare. Consumers can access a guide to reviewing their Medicare Summary Notices at http://www.iaaaa.org/MSN_Guide_2007-8-01-07.pdf or by calling their local Area Agency on Aging at 800-986-3505.

  • For victims who shared their Social Security number, you should access the Attorney General's ID Theft Victim's Kit.

Pump and Dump Scams Spawn in Wake of the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

Attorney General Greg Zoeller is extending the warning issued by the  U.S. Securites Exchange Commission regarding the lastest stock scheme. Investors should take caution against "pump and dump" stock scams by companies claiming to have (or be in the process of obtaining) contracts with BP or government agencies pertaining to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Pump and dump" schemes, also known as "hype and dump manipulation," involve the touting of a company's stock (typically microcap companies) through false and misleading statements to the marketplace. After pumping the stock, fraudsters make huge profits by selling their cheap stock into the market.
Red flags to watch for include:
  • Claims to have products or technologies that are effective in remediating oil spills or restoring the eco-system.
  • Mention of contracts or expected contracts with BP (formerly British Petroleum) that will aid the cleanup effort.
  • Claims that the company is providing technical assistance or expertise to BP or to U.S. government agencies such as the Coast Guard or the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Predictions of rapid, exponential sales growth.
  • Pressure to invest immediately.

If you are a victim of an investment scam, you can file a complaint with the Indiana Secretary of State's Office.

Many of the sheriff's in the state of Indiana will be commemorating the Indiana Sheriff's Association's 80th anniversary by displaying a license plate designed for this occasion.  More Information

ANNUAL SEX OFFENDER ROUND-UP  On May 18, 2010, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office conducted their annual sex offender roundup.  There are a total of 74 offenders the Sheriff’s Office are responsible for.  The roundup was a success with 54 registered sex offenders being accounted for, two on parole came in the following day, which are facing potential violations, and the rest are incarcerated, except one.  Charges are pending against this individual.    As of May 26, there were 10 offenders incarcerated in other facilities, and 8 were being held at the Ripley County Jail. Two offenders are being held on a different charge other than a registry violation, and 6 have new violation of registry charges, all filed by the Sheriff but one.


“ This is very important to our community.  These individuals must be monitored as close as possible and held accountable if they violate the law,” the Sheriff noted.  Sheriff Tom Grills also noted he has worked with the Indiana Sheriff’s Association to help secure a new program called Offender Watch.  Offender Watch will be a statewide database used for entering sex offender information, which can be shared by all 92 counties in the state.  Several other states have went online with Offender Watch, and Indiana is next.  Indiana Sheriffs are securing the funding for this software through a federal grant from the Indiana Dept. of Correction.   Citizens will also have access to the site to be given email notifications about offenders and their movements.


If you suspect an offender of breaking the registry requirements, or want more information on the Indiana Sheriff’s Association, Offender Watch, or Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, please visit, www.ripleycounty.com/sheriff.

Attorney General Alerts Consumers to risk of phony health insurance scams

Unclaimed Property Program is free

The Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Program reunites Hoosiers with millions of dollars worth of unclaimed property each year. Unfortunately there are scammers posing as finders and state government agencies attempting to cash in on your hidden treasure. If you receive unsolicited correspondence requesting personal information or money, it may be a “phishing” expedition. Responding could make you vulnerable to identity theft.  The Attorney General’s program is free and easy to use -you can search for and claim your money online at www.IndianaUnclaimed.com.  To check the legitimacy of correspondence regarding unclaimed property, you may contact the Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division or you may report scams to the Consumer Protection Division at www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1-800-382-5516.

2010 Census Cautions

Be cautious about giving info to Census Workers.  With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of  fraud or identity theft.  Please read this important information

4/27/10  Gardner and Green Arrests

4/26/2010 Accident

On Friday night, March 5, 2010, the Ripley County Sheriff's Office, working in cooperation with the Batesville Police Department and the Ripley County Prosecutor's Office, executed a Search Warrant issued by the Ripley Superior Court, at a Batesville residence, resulting in several arrest and the seizure of a large quantity of Cocaine packaged for sale.  More information

Ripley County Illegal Grow Operation Discovered

On Wednesday, February 3, 2010 Ripley County Deputy Jason Dickerson received a tip there were marijuana plants being grown at the home of 45 year-old Ernest H. Pyle of Milan.

Deputy Dickerson obtained a search warrant at that time, and the warrant was executed by the Sheriff’s Office, with Milan PD and the Indiana State Police assisting.  After the execution of the warrant, Pyle was incarcerated at the Ripley County Jail on charges of Possession of Marijuana, Cultivating Marijuana, and Possession of paraphernalia.  More charges are pending.  Pyle is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Sheriff Grills stated all law enforcement is committed to working together for the common good of our citizens.  Public awareness and multi-police agency cooperation is the best way to fight the drug trade and usage in this area.

If you know or suspect any illegal drug activity, you are urged to contact your local law enforcement agency with information.

Habitual Substance Offender Arrested

35-year-old William T. Borne Jr., Milan, was arrested Wednesday evening February 3, 2010 on a Felony warrant from Ripley County.  In addition to the Habitual charge, Borne also has charges for maintaining a common nuisance, possession of marijuana, and reckless possession of paraphernalia.

The arrest warrant stemmed from a search warrant obtained by Milan officers and served at the Borne residence the week before.  Ripley County Deputies and the Milan Police Department executed the arrest.

Borne is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

On Saturday night, January 9, 2010, the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a sexual assault involving a 19 year old female, near the Holton area, while traveling along Hopewell road.  The female reported that she had stopped to assist a stranded motorist, when assaulted by a white male who was operating a small, older black pickup truck. The assailant was described as a white male approximately 30 years of age, 6’-2”, medium build, wearing a green winter (toboggan) style cap, brown coat and blue jeans.  The assault is currently under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.  Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office at (812) 689-5555 or 689-5558.

The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary that had happened on SR 129 just south of Batesville, September 22,2009 around 2:30pm.  It is believed through evidence and the investigation the suspect was startled as the homeowner arrived back at the residence while the suspect was inside.  The suspect exited the home unbeknown to the owner of the residence, and spoke to the owner about completing some landscaping before leaving the residence.  The owner then realized the incident had taken place.

The vehicle is described as an Arizona Beige Ford F 150 extended cab pickup with a partial Ohio registration of DK 3697.  It is believed to be a late 90’s or early two thousand year model.  The suspect is described at early 20’s, sandy blonde hair, facial hair, about 5’10, thin build.

Citizens are urged to look out for their neighbors, lock everything, and pay attention to suspicious activity.  Document all your valuables and keep that record in a secure place.  Nobody is immune from becoming a victim.

BMV Announces Big Changes

This morning, I'm announcing big changes that will take effect on January 1, 2010, concerning the documentation necessary to obtain a driver's license or state-issued identification card. The program, called "SecureID," allows Indiana to comply with recommendations from the 9/11 Commission Report and will improve the BMV's ability to protect your identity from theft and fraud.
Beginning January 1, 2010, every person renewing, replacing or applying for a new driver's license or identification card will be required to present documentation proving his or her:
  • Identity. An original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport will meet this requirement. If you are a foreign national, a U.S. immigration document, such as foreign passport with a Visa and an I-94 form issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is acceptable.
  • Social Security number. A Social Security card, a W-2, tax form, an SSA-1099 form, or a pay stub showing the name and Social Security number on it will meet the requirement.
  • Lawful status. Again, an original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate or a U.S. passport satisfies this requirement. If you are a foreign national, a U.S. immigration document, such as foreign passport with a Visa and an I-94 form issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is acceptable.
  • Residency. Two recent statements from a utility company, bank, credit card company, doctor or hospital showing name and residence address. Computer-generated bills are acceptable.

If you do not have a copy of your birth certificate, contact the health department in the state where you were born and request an official copy. Indiana county health departments can be found here . A change in the name listed on your birth certificate requires additional items to be brought in - such as a marriage license. Those who have been through multiple name changes because of marriage, divorce or adoption must show proof of each name change.
After you present all documents, you will receive an interim license at the BMV branch. You will receive your permanent license or identification card within 10 business days. It will be mailed from a secure, government-run facility to your mailing address. This added step is to provide yet another layer of protection of your identity.
If your driver's license expires in 2011 or later, it is valid until the normal expiration date. You do not need to come into the license branch any earlier. If you are updating your name or address before the expiration date, you will have to bring all of the required documentation to the license branch.
To learn more about SecureID, please visit myBMV.IN.gov. Also, if you do not have a myBMV account, please sign-up for one here. A myBMV account allows you to conduct many regular transactions online at your convenience. The service is free and your information is confidential and will not be shared with third parties.

Attorney General Zoeller, Marion County Prosecutor Brizzi warn of ID Theft

New concerted effort geared to helping Hoosiers avoid becoming victims


INDIANAPOLIS - With identity theft among the fastest growing crimes in the state, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced a concerted effort to combat identity theft. Joined by Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, Zoeller alerted Hoosiers to several improved ways for consumers to protect their good name and credit rating.


“With the downturn in the economy, criminals have become relentless in their efforts to steal the identities of consumers and fraudulently open lines of credit,” Zoeller said. “Identity theft is devastating to victims and can take months or years to untangle. Today we launch a new effort to attack identity theft.”


“In the past, our response to identity theft has been limited because the law had not caught up to this new form of digital victimization.  With these new tools at our disposal, our offices will better be able to protect the citizens of Marion County and the State of Indiana from the serious threat of identity theft,” Brizzi said.


Zoeller and Brizzi today discussed a new effort to assist identity-theft victims while educating other consumers on how to avoid becoming victims in the first place.


“One of the most important protections is the security freeze, where consumers can go to our web site, sign up and prevent anyone from fraudulently obtaining credit in their name. The security freeze is tied to all three major credit-reporting bureaus. And, if the consumer wants to apply for a new line of credit, they can go back to the web site, lift the freeze temporarily, and then seal the lid of protection again,” Zoeller said.


To train attorneys on the legal ramifications of dealing with identity theft, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office is holding a series of CLE (Continuing Legal Education) classes on ID theft. Registration for the first CLE session, July 15, already is full, but others will be offered soon and will be open to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Professionals who work with the public - such as law enforcement officers, retail merchants, social services workers, assisted-living facilities managers and clergy - may find the course of benefit.


“This CLE training offered by the Attorney General’s office will cast a wide net in training professionals who will be the first line of defense in preventing identity theft,” Zoeller said. “Our office has found that the Hispanic community often is hit especially hard by identity thieves.”


The effort comes as Indiana’s new identity-theft protection law, House Enrolled Act 1121, took effect last week. The new law boosts protections for consumers and creates new rights for victims, while giving local and state authorities more powerful tools to crack down on identity thieves.


Among other things, the new law does the following:


  • Makes it a crime for a parent or guardian to use a child’s personal information to commit identity theft and fraudulently obtain credit. The new crime is a Class C felony, punishable by two to eight years in prison.


  • Creates the new crime of synthetic identity theft, to specify that combining parts of the identities of several people into a hybrid, fictional person in order to commit fraud also is illegal. It’s a Class D felony, punishable by six months to three years imprisonment.


  • Creates recovery tools for victims. Identity theft victims often have difficulty establishing new credit or utility service because of damage to their credit histories. HEA 1121 gives Hoosiers the ability to go to court and obtain a declaratory judgment, a legal document that says the person was an innocent victim of identity theft, in order to correct their records.


  • Increases the penalties for database owners who recklessly discard consumers’ personal information, such as Social Security numbers, in a manner that could subject consumers to identity theft. If a business discards such records without shredding, blacking out or incinerating them first, then the Attorney General’s office could file suit and seek penalties of $5,000 per incident for the violation. Database owners also are now required to notify the attorney general’s office – as well as consumers – if a security breach occurs.


Recently, the Attorney General’s ID Theft Unit responded to two cases – one in New Castle, Ind., in April, and the other in Mishawaka, Ind., in June - where customers’ sensitive personal information, such as medical records and loan applications, were discarded in trash bins. Concerned members of the public spotted the dumped records, realized the risk and alerted the Attorney General’s office.


  • Formally establishes the ID Theft Unit. Created administratively by former Attorney General Steve Carter in January 2008, the ID Theft Unit is a team of attorneys and investigators who use computer forensic techniques to probe complaints and assist victims. HEA 1121 by statute makes the unit a permanent part of the Attorney General’s office as of July 1, 2009.


Since it was created 18 months ago, the ID Theft Unit has investigated more than 600 cases or referrals and recovered more than $608,000 in refunds for consumers, and its investigations have resulted in 13 arrests. Under the new law, the ID Theft Unit will also have an expanded role, through public presentations, in educating consumers on how to avoid being victimized and mitigate the damage if identity is stolen.


The Attorney General’s web site, www.indianaconsumer.com/idtheft, has free resource tools available to educate consumers about their rights and protect their identity and credit. Versions in Spanish are posted.


Zoeller today thanked members of the Indiana General Assembly who helped pass House Enrolled Act 1121 in April during the regular session, including House author State Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, and Senate sponsor State Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford. Zoeller thanked in particular State Rep. David Frizzell, R-Indianapolis, long a supporter of identity-theft-protection legislation.


“The hard work of legislators has crafted a powerful new tool we can use to combat identity thieves,” Zoeller said. “We also appreciate the front-line efforts of county prosecuting attorneys such as Mr. Brizzi in filing criminal charges against such lawbreakers and bringing them to justice.”


“These new measures will help law enforcement keep up with tactics being used by identity thieves,” Rep. Frizzell said. “As more and more of our personal information is recorded and stored, it will be increasingly important to give law enforcement the tools they need to fight identity theft, including the ability to hold perpetrators accountable.”


For more information about preventing identity theft and the details of the new law, consumers can visit www.indianaconsumer.com/idtheft. The link to the credit-security freeze online application is http://www.indianaconsumer.com/idtheft/SecurityFreeze.asp.  Video of today’s news conference will be posted on the Attorney General’s web site. Dates for upcoming CLE training courses on identity-theft prevention offered by the Attorney General’s office will be announced soon.

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