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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Erratic driving leads to charges for stealing vehicle

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Scott Smith, 31, Dugger, was first stopped and arrested due to alleged erratic driving in an intoxicated state, but the charges against him got more serious when the officer discovered he was driving a stolen vehicle.

Officer Thomas Jerrels of the Linton Police Department was on patrol at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 18 when he reported he witnessed a red Toyota pickup truck travel west on NE H St. just west of NE 4th St. in Linton.

In a police report, Jerrels stated the driver stopped the pickup truck and began traveling east in the westbound lane, in reverse, in a rapid manner. Then the driver put the vehicle in "drive" as it was still rolling east in reverse, and accelerated rapidly causing the back tires to spin producing smoke.

When the driver, Smith, was stopped, he allegedly said the truck was his but he could not find the vehicle registration. When the officer ran a check on the license plate, it returned to Gregory and Tamela Blake of Dugger.

Smith failed roadside sobriety tests and was transported to the police department. The truck was towed.

Jerrels noted in a probable cause affidavit that Smith did not seem to care that the truck was being towed and never asked where it was going, how much it would cost, or when it could be released.

Around 1 a.m., Jerrels was contacted by Sullivan County Sheriff's Deputy David Haddix who said Gregory Blake had reported the truck stolen. According to the affidavit, Blake said he didn't know Scott Smith. He also said he had last seen his truck at his residence around 5 p.m. and that he may have left his keys in the truck.

Smith was placed under arrest and transported by Indiana State Police Trooper Richard Klun to the Greene County Jail where he was booked in with bond set at $8,000. LPD Officer Chad Crynes also assisted on the case.

At an initial hearing in Greene Superior Court, Smith was charged with receiving stolen auto parts, a class D felony; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a class C misdemeanor; operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, a class A misdemeanor; and two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction, both class D felonies.

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