The burglary of an Ogilville grocery store and armed robbery of an Edinburgh convenience store likely are linked, according to police.
Authorities are trying to determine who is responsible for similar holdups and break-ins elsewhere across the region.
Edinburgh Town Marshal Dave Mann said he’s confident the vehicle used in the burglary of Myers Grocery Store on State Road 58 early Saturday also was used in his town that night during the holdup of Bonkerz Sunoco at State Road 252 and Interstate 65.
A man has been arrested in connection with the Ogilville burglary. Devin James Menser, 22, of 110 N. County Road 250E, Columbus, was arrested Monday on charges of burglary and theft.
Menser has not been charged in the Edinburgh robbery.
While bond for Menser has been set at $50,000, he remains under a court-approved hold in jail until at least Monday. Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Todd Noblitt said the hold will give investigators in Edinburgh and Columbus additional time to gather information in what has become a joint investigation.
The burglary at Myers Grocery was reported at 3:50 a.m. Saturday. Noblitt said surveillance footage showed the driver of a white, late-1990s Ford Explorer using his SUV to push a large wooden church pew through an entrance. Cigarettes, lottery tickets and cash were taken from the business.
Mann said he believes that at 8:36 p.m. that day the same SUV carried at least three masked bandits to the Edinburgh convenience store.
After the robbers burst into Bonkerz Sunoco with a semiautomatic pistol, the store clerk ran out the side door for help, according to an Edinburgh Police Department news release. The suspects made off with a variety of items, including an undetermined amount of money and cigarettes.
As they got into a Ford Explorer, one of the bandits fired a shot, although no one was injured, the release stated. The SUV was seen heading south on I-65.
After a description of the SUV was dispatched, investigators with the sheriff’s department and Mann, who served as sheriff from 1991 through 1998, began to suspect the same vehicle was used in both crimes.
Noblitt said surveillance videos at both locations contained enough detail to lead to Menser. During searches, detectives found evidence from the grocery store and possibly other crimes.