Tip leads to arrest of 2 on theft charges

A tip about someone taking a $2,000 generator from a North Vernon business and trying to sell it online led to the arrests of two area residents Sunday, police report.

Cori L. Fortner, 30, and Nathaniel W. Clement, 35, both of North Vernon, each face Level 6 felony charges of theft and possession of stolen property.

The case began at about 1:17 p.m. when Officer Matt Staples with the North Vernon Police Department received a report that an employee of the owner of the generator had found it advertised for sale on a website, according to a news release from Sgt. Andrew Richmond.

Staples said he was able to verify ownership of the generator and that the owner had never posted it for sale. The generator was valued at $2,000 and was listed online for $300.

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Staples worked with the employee, who discovered the item acting as an interested buyer. Once the employee arranged a meeting with the online contact, Staples was able to arrest Fortner and Clement.

The pair were arrested following interviews and investigation at the scene of the controlled meeting. The generator was recovered.

The two were booked into the Jennings County Jail at 4 p.m. Sunday and being held on $1,055 bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

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