Two jailed on fraud, theft charges
Decatur County Jail booking photoTrevor C. Innis and N. Powers
GREENSBURG – A local man and woman are facing numerous felony charges related to theft and fraud after they allegedly stole a woman’s purse from her car and used debit and credit cards to purchase goods and obtain cash.
The man in the case, Trevor N. Powers, 19, of the 2300 block of E. CR 700 S., faces a string of additional charges for his alleged role in a second criminal case involving burglary, multiple counts of theft and vehicle ransacking.
Powers was arrested on multiple charges last week; his alleged accomplice in one of the cases, Raychelle C. Innis, 19, of the 7100 block of S. CR 320 W., was taken into custody Friday following the issuance of a warrant, according to arrest records.
Powers was charged Oct. 3 in Decatur County Superior Court with nine felony counts of fraud on a financial institution as well as a misdemeanor count of theft.
The exact same charges were filed against Innis Oct. 25, leading to the warrant that landed her behind bars.
Police said the charges stem from the theft of a purse Oct. 3. A woman told police her purse had been stolen from her car and that her credit cards had been used at a local tobacco shop and a department store without her knowledge or permission.
The woman said she believed she had forgotten to lock her car, which may have allowed the purse to be snatched from the vehicle without its owner noticing immediately that it was gone. She believed the theft likely occurred between 11:30 a.m. and shortly before 3 p.m. – at some point after she returned to work after a lunch break. She discovered late that evening that the purse had indeed been stolen.
The woman said $117 in cash had been left in the stolen purse along with her driver’s license. Other cards without monetary value were recovered Oct. 4 on Franklin St. and given to police after a resident found them scattered them in the road. More cards were discovered later on Ireland St. She reportedly cancelled at least some of the cards in order to prevent fraudulent activity, according to court documents.
Police wrote in court documents that they initially had no suspects in the case, so they went to the stores where the cards were used to obtain video footage.
Officer Casey Jones said he believed a man captured on video at the tobacco shop was Powers but did not immediately identify the young woman who accompanied him.
A video of the same two suspects was found at Walmart, however, and Jones was subsequently able to identify Innis, according to court documents.
Police said Innis and Powers used the self check-out service to buy items with a card, then went to the service desk to return the items in exchange for cash.
On Oct. 13, the woman whose purse had been stolen again contacted police and said another of her credit cards had been charged for goods totaling almost $680.
The card had been used Oct. 3 twice at Walmart and Rural King, and once each at Hibbett Sports, Dollar Tree and Walgreens in Greensburg.
Further video evidence shows Innis making a purchase at Rural King, police said.
Powers is facing a lengthy list of charges in a separate case filed Oct. 19 in Superior Court.
Those charges include felony counts of burglary, fraud on a financial institution and theft of a firearm as well as four misdemeanor counts of theft, three counts of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and a charge of carrying a handgun without a license.
The investigation that led to the charges filed against Powers began with multiple reports of theft Oct. 20. One resident told police that a loaded 9 mm handgun and a holster had been taken from his unlocked car on E. Erdmann Rd. S.
On the same date, police investigated a burglary in the 900 block of S. Lynn Rd. where a person entered an attached garage and stole a purse containing $80 in cash, a laptop kept inside a backpack, keys to a van and prescription eyeglasses, according to an incident report. Police said all of those items were found in the 800 block of S. Michigan and returned to the owner.
Also that morning, police investigated a report that an iPad and a wallet containing two bank cards had been stolen out of a man’s van parked on E. Lakeshore Dr. Police said the wallet and “most of its contents” were found in the 1100 of Maureen Dr. The damaged iPad was also found and returned to its owner.
Video footage later viewed by police allegedly shows Powers attempting to withdraw $100 from an ATM at a local gas station by using one of the man’s bank cards. The transaction was not successful.
Another incident report from the morning of Oct. 20 says a vehicle was ransacked but nothing of value had been stolen.
Yet another report involved theft of checkbooks taken from unlocked vehicle’s on a man’s property. The location was not disclosed in police reports. Other residents in various locations around the city reported missing items from their vehicles as well. In one case two knives were stolen.
While those reports were being filed, police received a report that two “younger” men were acting suspiciously, appearing to peer into a home in the 100 block of W. Walnut shortly before 8 a.m. Oct. 20.
Police converged on the scene and later met with Powers and two other men at the intersection of Anderson and Second St. The men reportedly denied being on W. Walnut that morning, but an odor of marijuana led police to search the suspects.
A handgun matching the description of the one stolen from the car on S. Erdmann Dr. was found in Powers’ waistband and confiscated after he repeatedly refused to lift his shirt in an attempt to hide the weapon, police said.
Powers was arrested at the scene along with two other men, one of whom is identified in court documents as Justin Paluch. Paluch is facing a felony charge of unlawful possession of a syringe after an unused needle was found in his pants pocket. He pleaded not guilty to that charge during a court appearance last week.
No statements were given to police by Powers or Innis, according to court documents.
The handgun was returned to its owner.
Powers appeared in court to face the charges in both criminal cases filed against him last week. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to court records.
In the burglary case, he is being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond. He also appeared at an initial hearing on the fraud case Wednesday during which time a $25,000 cash bond was set in that case. Attorney Mark Jones was appointed to defend Powers in both cases.
Both of the cases against Powers are set for trial by jury beginning at 9 a.m. Feb. 7 in Superior Court.
A $5,000 cash bond was set for Innis during her initial hearing Monday, according to court records. She is represented by Jones as well in a case set to go to trial beginning at 9 a.m. Feb. 14 in Circuit Court. She has pleaded not guilty.
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