Suspect faces multiple counts in thefts

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Kevin Petro [email protected]

HANCOCK COUNTY — A man police believe is responsible for multiple thefts in the county in 2018-19 has been brought to Hancock County to face charges.

Kevin R. Petro, 41, Greenfield, has been charged with 12 felony and four misdemeanor crimes stemming from incidents from December 2018 and January 2019.

Petro was arrested in Indianapolis in January 2019 in connection with a number of thefts in Marion County and had been serving time in the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill before being transferred to Hancock County late last week.

The most serious charges against Petro here include two Level 4 felony counts of burglary from a dwelling from incidents on Dec. 21 and Dec. 31, 2018. Those charges carry a sentence of up to 12 years in prison for each count.

Petro is also facing four Level 5 felony counts of burglary from incidents in late December 2018. Those crimes are punishable by up to six years in prison for each charge. Petro has also been charged with six Level 6 felonies, including an auto theft charge, and four misdemeanors.

According to one of several probable cause affidavits filed in support of charges against against Petro, police received a report of a break-in Dec. 21, 2018 at a residence on South Fallow Trail, New Palestine. Police determined some 56 jewelry items had been stolen from the home.

Law enforcement had been on the lookout for someone who had been breaking into county residences and developed a lead on Petro after some jewelry was sold in pawn shops, the affidavit said.

One of the other affidavits against Petro contains a long list of break-ins officials believe Petro committed. They include multiple reports of break-ins of recreational vehicles in a storage area in the 6000 block of West U.S. 52 on Dec. 27 and 28, 2018.

The affidavit also detailed break-ins in the 7000 block of Bristol Way in the Bristol Ridge subdivision off Carroll Road in southwestern Hancock County and in the 8000 block of Southeastern Avenue in southeastern Marion County.

On Jan. 1, 2019, according to the affidavit, Indianapolis Police received a report of a vehicle fire in a neighborhood near Irvington in Indianapolis. The report indicated officers recognized the Ford F-350 pickup as a possible suspect vehicle used to commit crimes in the Wanamaker area.

The owner of the truck told investigators his truck should have been in storage. He later reported his truck had indeed been stolen from a storage lot in New Palestine.

Police caught up with Petro on Jan. 3, 2019, when Indianapolis police arrested him on suspicion of stealing another vehicle.

Petro made his initial appearance via video in Hancock County Circuit Court Monday, May 18, where judge Scott Sirk set a $5,000 cash bond.

Petro has a pretrial conference set for June. He was still listed as an inmate in the county jail as of Thursday afternoon, May 21.