SUV stolen from gas station; recovered at gas station

A Greendale man is being accused of stealing a vehicle from a Columbus gas station.

According to Columbus police reports, the owner of the SUV left it unlocked and the keys in the console at a Central Avenue gas station last week, only to find the vehicle gone when he returned at about 6:05 in the evening. A Bartholomew County deputy spotted the vehicle soon afterwards during a disturbance at a west Columbus gas station, however the driver took off, striking a fence and driving into a nearby field to avoid police.

The suspect returned to the original gas station later in the evening, where an off-duty Columbus officer recognized the stolen vehicle and detained the driver until officers arrived.

28-year-old Dustin W. Cothron was arrested on preliminary charges of theft of a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator and resisting law enforcement.