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Friday, May 27, 2016

Officials release more details on area theft ring

Monday, January 14, 2008

An investigation into a stolen credit card from a residence in Clay County led to the discovery of a Clay/Vigo county theft ring over the weekend.

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton confirmed the arrest of Justin D. Haas, Michael St. Dennis and his wife Abby Hobby-St. Dennis, and believes the ongoing investigation will lead to more potential charges for each suspect.

Officials discovered the vehicle used by the St. Dennis couple during their shopping spree with the stolen credit card at a Terre Haute Wal-Mart in the alley behind Haas' Terre Haute residence on Saturday.

Hobby-St. Dennis
After discovering various stolen items and drugs in his residence, Haas was arrested on a warrant petition to revoke probation for a prior theft conviction and taken to Vigo County Jail. He was later transported to the Clay County Justice Center on a preliminary theft charge.

Officials expect further charges to be added as stolen merchandise discovered in Haas' home is connected to other theft cases.

On Sunday morning, Michael and his wife Abby St. Dennis were identified as the couple in the Wal-Mart video and were arrested at their Vigo County residence.

St. Dennis
Abby was arrested and booked into the Vigo County Jail on preliminary charges of forgery and possession/receiving stolen property, with a $10,000 cash bond with 10 percent allowable.

Michael, who did not initially tell officials his correct name, was arrested on a preliminary charge of false informing and transported to the Clay County Justice Center. Officials later determined that he was wanted on a federal warrant for manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine and two warrants for failure to appear in court out of Henderson, Ky.

Using information obtained during the investigation, officials obtained a search warrant for an unidentified storage facility in Vigo County, which led to the recovery of more stolen items.

"These suspects can potentially face charges in both Clay and Vigo counties," Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke said about the ongoing investigation Monday evening. "As we continue to process and match the stolen items to other theft cases in the area, we expect more charges to be filed by the prosecutor's offices in both counties."

Although Abby bonded out Sunday evening, Heaton appeared in a Vigo County courtroom Monday to present a verbal probable cause statement about her involvement in the case.

As of press time Monday evening, Michael St. Dennis and Justin D. Haas were still incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center and are expected to appear in a Clay County court this week.

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