Westport woman arrested on charge of auto theft

A police officer who recognized a vehicle parked in a Columbus alley as stolen arrested a Westport woman on a charge of auto theft.

Melissa R. Hulse, 34, of 505 Deer Run, was arrested on charges of forgery, auto theft and a Marion County warrant about 10:15 a.m. Saturday in a residence near the alley in the 700 block of Werner Street, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Columbus police officer Frank Dickman saw the green Toyota car in the alley and recalled that a vehicle with the same description had been reported stolen earlier in November, Harris said. After checking the license plate and vehicle identification number, officers located Hulse at a nearby house.

Hulse told officers she had purchased the vehicle and produced title paperwork with scribbled handwriting, Harris said.

Officers later determined Hulse had taken the vehicle and forged the signature on the car’s title, Harris said.

Hulse is being held without bond at the Bartholomew County Jail, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.