Columbus man arrested on auto theft charge

A Columbus man was arrested on a preliminary charge of auto theft after police spotted him driving past the truck’s owner as he was making a stolen-vehicle report to police.

Terry A. Barnhart, 34, is being held without bond on a 48-hour hold in the Bartholomew County Jail, according to jail officials.

Columbus Police Department officer Michael Butler responded to a parking lot in the 900 block of Marr Road at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Butler spoke with the owner of a 1998 Chevy S-10, who reported that his truck was stolen from the lot, said Lt. Matt Harris, department spokesperson.

While speaking to Butler, the truck’s owner heard what he believed was his vehicle’s loud muffler. Moments later, the truck owner and Butler observed the vehicle near Marr Road and Pavilion Drive, Harris said.

Butler caught up to the truck in his patrol car, a felony stop was conducted and Barnhart was arrested, Harris said.

The stolen truck, which appeared to be undamaged, was returned to the owner, Harris said.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.