Prosecutors in Evansville say investigators have broken up a theft ring that hit 16 stores, stealing flat-screen televisions, high-end apparel, power tools and other items.
The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday that 19 people face charges including corrupt business influence, interstate transportation of stolen goods and conspiracy.
The Evansville Courier & Press reports the ring stole millions of dollars' worth of goods that also included vacuum cleaners, copper piping, and high end purses and accessories. Several of the stores that were hit are located in Evansville's Eastland Mall.
The investigation involved the FBI's Southwest Indiana Violent Crime Task Force, the Evansville Police Department, the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office, the Indiana State Police and the Warrick County Sheriff's Office.
Vanderburgh County has been approved to receive a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover some damage sustained during a brutal winter storm January 5-9.
Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Director Cliff Weaver says much of the damage came to the water grid in-and-around Evansville.
“We had hundreds of water mains break,” said Weaver. “So you can imagine the labor and materials over time – plus the loss of the water. It was a very unusual situation.”
Weaver says the total damage amounts to $1.3 million dollars. He says about half of that is eligible to be covered by the FEMA grant. A total of 28 Indiana counties have been approved to receive the grants.
A federal judge has ruled against opponents of the $3 billion Interstate 69 extension between Indianapolis and Evansville who claimed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated federal law by giving Indiana permission to fill wetlands and reroute streams along part of the 142-mile road.