Firefighter arrested for theft

Friday, March 12, 2004

On Feb. 29 the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department reported a theft of a generator and other items from one of their fire trucks. They reported that an Onan brand generator had been unbolted and removed from a truck that was parked in their garage. Information was later received from a confidential informant that a Posey Township Firefighter named Josh Shobe, 25, of 16 West Logan St. Brazil, had stolen the generator and sold it.

Gambill and Smiley made contact with Shobe on Thursday and he confessed to stealing the generator from the truck. Shobe said that he had been issued a key to the fire department when he became a member and he used that key to enter the fire department late one evening. Shobe said that he unbolted the generator from the truck and then loaded it into his car. Shobe said that after he stole the generator he delivered it to a residence in Brazil and it was later sold to Michael Bemis of rural Clay County. This information was consistent with information received from another informant.

Gambill and Smiley were then able to obtain a search warrant for the Bemis property and the warrant was executed at 11:24 a.m. Friday. The stolen generator was subsequently located in an outbuilding on the property, The generator had been painted, but was still readily identifiable as the stolen item. A member of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department came to the scene of the search warrant and identified it as the missing item and took possession of the generator.

Prior to learning of Shobe's involvement in the theft, the members of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department had voted to have Shobe removed from the department. The Sheriff's Department is going to request that charges of theft be filed against Josh Shobe and that charges of possession of stolen property be filed against Michael Bemis. Charges are also going to be sought on a third subject who it is believed arranged the sale of the stolen generator.

The Clay County Sheriff's Department was assisted in the execution of this warrant by members of the Indiana State Police, Center Point Police Department and the Clay City Police Department.

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