Two suspects wanted in burglary

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department needs help identifying two people they believe burglarized the home of the one of the department’s deputies and made off with the officer’s badge and two handguns.

A deputy returned to his home in the 2700 block of County Road 425W in New Palestine around 11:30 a.m. Monday to find the place ransacked. The burglars broke in through a locked side door, police said.

The deputy’s badge and two of his personal handguns were stolen, Capt. Jeff Rasche said. The burglars also made off with a chain saw and a television.

This burglary is the 17th in the county since Sept. 1, Rasche said. That’s slightly higher than the department traditionally sees but keeps with a trend of spiking robberies as the holidays approach, he said.

Officers aren’t sure if the burglary is connected to any other reports. Now, after a week of investigating, the department has released several images a trail cam on the property captured of those involved. Investigators are hoping the public can help identify the suspects.

Police are looking for a white woman, about 20 years old, with dark hair. On the day of the burglary, the woman was wearing a light blue headband and a gray sweatshirt. The other suspect is described as a white man, also about 20. He has a full beard and mustache.

Rasche said the car the pair were driving is a black Jeep Liberty Freedom Edition with a front brush guard and rear spare tire, a unique model of the vehicle. The jeep matches the description of one stolen from the Greenfield area, although investigators have not confirmed a connection, he said.

Anyone who spots the vehicle should call 911 immediately and not approach the jeep, police said.

Equally concerning is that the stolen police badge could lead to further wrongdoing, Rasche said.

In recent weeks, several central Indiana law enforcement agencies have taken a series of reports of people impersonating police officers and pulling over unsuspecting drivers. It’s unclear whether the cases are related, but the reports have prompted concerns among law enforcement.

Although Hancock County has not seen a case of impersonation, the thought is always concerning, Rasche said. The deputy’s stolen badge has been entered into a national database; the department will be alerted if it’s found.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects or information about the burglary is asked to contact the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department at 317-477-1199 or jrasche@hancockcoingov.org.

How you can help

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspects or information about the burglary is asked to contact the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department at 317-477-1199 or jrasche@hancockcoingov.org.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.