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Suspect emerges in I-65 break-ins

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Investigators in both Seymour and Edinburgh expressed optimism that a suspect arrested in Indianapolis early Monday is also the man who robbed businesses in their communities, as well as in Columbus, earlier this month.

Kenneth Ward, 54, was arrested in connection with two business burglaries on Indianapolis’ southside, according to a report from WISH-TV, a news-gathering partner of The Republic.

Ward, whose city of residence was unknown, is suspected in 30 business burglaries in all, including the Feb. 10 break-in of the Lincoln Square Restaurant, 2315 W. Jonathan Moore Pike in Columbus, according to a statement released Tuesday by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police.

Both Seymour Police Detective C.J. Foster and Edinburgh Deputy Police Chief David Lutz agreed with the Indianapolis police statement that the method of operation used in the Indianapolis break-ins appear to tie Ward to crimes committed in their communities the same night of the Lincoln Square break-in, when a series of break-ins occurred at businesses located along Interstate 65 in southern Indiana.

“We do believe they have the right person,” Lutz said in regard to Ward’s possible connection with the burglary of Tools and More in the Edinburgh Premium Outlets mall. “We are forwarding our paperwork to the Bartholomew County prosecutor.”

Lutz added that evidence produced during Tuesday’s meeting with IMP Detective Matt Morgan, as well as surveillance video taken at several crime scenes, has convinced him that the Edinburgh store burglary has been solved.

Videos taken at several robbed businesses showed a man with a mustache and a hood using a crowbar to smash open a glass door or window, according to an IMP statement. The images show the man grabbing the cash register and running out in an average of about 30 seconds.

Foster said Seymour investigators suspect the same person also may be responsible for the burglary of the Tokyo Hibachi and Sushi restaurant, 1519 E. Tipton St. However, Foster said it likely will be next week before Indianapolis authorities allow them to question Ward.

Columbus police said Feb. 11 that the person who robbed the restaurant on West State Road 46 likely also committed the break-ins at Seymour and Edinburgh. But on Wednesday, CPD spokesman Lt. Matt Myers was careful not to jump to conclusions. “We are not in a position to release anything at this point,” he said.

Lutz said he learned Tuesday that Ward had been under police surveillance for almost a week before his arrest. He added that IMP investigators informed him that Ward led officers on a high-speed chase Monday that ended when he was captured by a police dog.

The suspect was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital for treatment of animal-bite wounds, Lutz said.

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