Seymour man arrested after fleeing police in North Vernon

A theft investigation involving cellphones in North Vernon led to the arrest of a 31-year-old Jackson County man on at least seven charges, including theft and criminal confinement.

The arrest of Christopher M. Lawrence of Seymour occurred Friday night but began with an investigation that started Thursday night when police received a report of a man who had been caught on video taking a cellphone from a vehicle parked in the lot of a pharmacy.

North Vernon Officer Casey Jones investigated the initial incident. The video of that incident showed a man breaking the window of a vehicle to get to the cellphone.

Detective Ivory Sandefur used information gathered from that report and several earlier thefts from vehicles and began searching for Lawrence as a possible suspect, according to a news release from Sgt. Andrew Richmond, the department’s public information officer.

Sandefur along with Lt. Randall Marshall and officers Matt Staples and Seth Beville were able to locate Lawrence on Friday, but he fled in a vehicle after being spotted.

The pursuit ended when he got out of the vehicle on foot into a wooded area and was caught by Staples.

After his capture, the driver of the vehicle told police Lawrence had pulled a knife on him and forced him to drive off after the officers spotted him.

Sandefur was able to recover the cellphone reported to Jones as stolen the night before along with several other items from prior reports.

Lawrence faces Level 6 felony charges of possession of stolen property and criminal confinement along with two counts each of theft and criminal mischief and one count of resisting law enforcement, which are all Class A misdemeanors.

This is still an active case, and Sandefur is working to link other items to possible thefts or people.

Lawrence was being held on a $4,055 bond Saturday morning pending his initial court hearing.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7051.