A joint investigation between the Brazil Police Department, Clay County Sheriff's Department, area conservation officers and Parke County Sheriff's Department recently came to a conclusion thanks to a handful of alleged confessions.
According to officials with the Clay County Sheriff's Department (CCSD) and Brazil Police Department (BPD), two Carbon men -- who of whom are currently incarcerated in Parke County -- and another Parke County man, recently confessed to their involvement in a string of burglaries in the northern part of the county.
CCSD Det. Jerry Siddons and BPD Det. Johnnie Bohnert recently told The Brazil Times they had been investigating several robberies in the area, including seven churches.
The investigation began after some churches in the northern portion of the county were burglarized.
As officials continued their investigation, both Eastside Elementary and Meridian Elementary schools were burglarized.
In addition, more area churches were burglarized and there was also an attempted break-in of an ATM machine at a Riddell National Bank location.
Throughout the course of the investigation, officials were looking for a maroon suburban vehicle.
After authorities began patrolling area churches, the burglaries ceased.
However, after a Clay County man was recently arrested in connection to a string of burglaries of businesses in Mansfield and Bridgeton, authorities studied the cases and found they were possibly related.
Upon seeing the burglaries resembled each other, authorities interviewed Kevin R. Walker, 35, Carbon, who had been arrested early in September in connection to the Parke County burglaries.
According to authorities, Walker allegedly confessed to his involvement in the Clay County burglaries.
In addition, authorities also issued an arrest warrant for Charles Drummond, 31, also of Carbon, and George Goldsmith Jr., 44, Carbon.
Walker is still incarcerated in the Parke County Jail on preliminary charges of three counts of class C felony burglary charges.
At the time of the Clay County arrest warrant, Drummond was in the Vigo County Jail on an unrelated matter.
However, he was recently preliminarily charged in Parke County on two counts of class C felony burglary.
According to Clay County officials, the three men had heard of the string of burglaries in the southern portion of the county during the summer and essentially copied the crimes.
They used the vehicle of another person they knew, which was maroon in color, according to officials.
Authorities said the men allegedly told them during interviews they had taken close to $1,000 from the churches, in addition to various other items.
According to officials, the men have been preliminarily charged in Clay County and could face charges of seven counts of Class B felony burglary (for the places of worship), two counts of class C felony burglary (for the schools), and one count of attempted theft (a class D felony) as well as charges of trespassing, among other possible charges.