Three arrested in Jackson County auto theft ring

Three people have been arrested in Jackson County after police recovered more than $300,000 in stolen vehicles and about $18,000 in marijuana.

According to Seymour Police Department, officers were alerted by the Mishawaka Police in late January that a stolen SUV was believed to be in the area of a home in the 1900 block of West Tipton Street. Police contacted 24-year-old Johnathan Smith at the address who produced what was purported to be a receipt for the vehicle.

After getting search warrants, police searched the area and discovered the SUV, two Dodge Chargers, items related to vehicle thefts, key fobs, key fob programming devices, items belonging to the owners of stolen vehicles, handwritten receipts, and evidence that vehicle identification numbers had been manipulated. A search the following day located a skid steer that had been reported stolen out of Owen County.

The evidence led to the search of a second residence on Sams Circle in Seymour. Police say they found another stolen SUV, more than six pounds of marijuana, vehicle titles, and evidence of vehicle identification numbers being manufactured.

Smith was arrested on five counts of auto theft and dealing in marijuana.

In February, 29-year-old Phillip D. Auel  of Seymour was arrested for conspiracy to commit auto theft and dealing in marijuana.

Last week, 27-year-old Karen Miller of Seymour was arrested on a Jackson County warrant for conspiracy to commit auto theft, two counts of neglect of a dependent and dealing in marijuana.

Seymour police were assisted in the investigation by  Indiana State Police Special Investigations, Auto Theft Section and investigators with the National Insurance Crime Bureau.