Police: 2 jailed in logging truck theft

Staff Reports

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two Columbus residents after a passerby saw a logging truck belonging to a Brownstown company stuck in the mud near an abandoned house and reported it as suspicious.

Ethan Spray, 22, and Shayla Ulrey, 19, both of 2272 Indiana Ave., were arrested on theft charges after sheriff’s deputies arrived about 7:50 a.m. Thursday and found the truck stuck in the mud in the 3600 block of Deaver Road, said Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dave Steinkoenig.

Deputy Todd Noblitt went to the Deaver Road address and found Ulrey inside a large yellow box truck with Bane Logging on the side that was stuck in the yard, Steinkoenig said. The vehicle was running but was stuck, with Spray outside the truck, he said.

About $10,000 worth of high-end logging tools, including an air compressor, welder and chain saws, were strewn about outside the truck, Steinkoenig said.

Using the name on the side of the truck, Noblitt and Steinkoenig called the company in Brownstown and learned that the truck was supposed to be at a job site on State Road 11 just south of the Bartholomew County line.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department went to the trucking company in Brownstown and took a stolen vehicle report after the company determined its truck was missing.

Steinkoenig said Spray had the registration for the truck and a padlock with a key that was identified as the padlock that should have been on the back of the truck.

Bane Logging employees arrived to take the truck and equipment. Steinkoenig said more charges may be pending in the case.

Spray and Ulrey are in Bartholomew County Jail on a 48-hour hold, jail officials said.

The sheriff’s department said it is thankful that the passerby called in the suspicious vehicle report, saying that investigators might not have caught the pair without that assistance because the logging company didn’t know and had not reported its truck missing.

“We want to encourage the community to continue to call in and report suspicious behavior,” Steinkoenig said.