By The Franklin Daily Journal
JOHNSON COUNTY — A North Vernon man was arrested after police say he led them on a chase in a stolen car from Franklin into southwestern Shelby County.
Chance L. Goodwin, 27, was arrested on charges of resisting law enforcement and theft, both felonies; reckless driving, a misdemeanor; and on an out-of-county warrant. The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office will decide what, if any, charges to file.
Franklin Police received a FLOCK License Plate Reader system notification on a stolen vehicle around 2:26 p.m Monday. The blue sedan was seen on East King Street just east of Umbarger Lane. Officers went to the area but were unable to find the vehicle, according to a Franklin Police Department report.
Minutes later, an officer spotted a vehicle matching the stolen vehicle’s description at the entrance of Interstate Warehousing, 700 Bartram Parkway. The officer notified dispatchers that he had found the vehicle and began to follow it as it went north on Bartram Parkway. The car then turned onto State Road 44, going eastbound until it pulled into the parking lot of King’s Highway Church, 5557 E. State Road 44, according to the report.
The officer then attempted to pull the car over in the parking lot. However, the car accelerated, drove through the grass to make a U-turn, and turned back onto State Road 44, the report says.
Police pursued the car as it went eastbound, with the car reaching speeds up to 90 miles an hour. At one point the car passed a semi-truck on the right shoulder just east of County Road 700 East, the report says.
The stolen sedan continued east on State Road 44, reaching speeds of between 100-110 miles an hour as it entered Shelby County. In Shelby County, the car tried to pass another semi, however, the car went off the roadway from the right shoulder, according to the report. Police say the driver of the car appeared to have overcorrected and lost control.
The car then went back onto State Road 44, crossing in front of the semi before going off the road to the left, stopping in a soybean field on the north side of State Road 44. The driver, a male later identified as Goodwin, exited the vehicle and fled on foot, according to the report.
Officers ran after Goodwin, asking him to stop, but he continued to run. He eventually ran into a cornfield and police lost sight of him, the report says.
Law enforcement from six different agencies — Franklin and Shelbyville police, the Johnson County and Shelby County Sherrif’s Offices, Indiana State Police and Indiana Department of Natural Resources — established a large perimeter to search for Goodwin. Agencies brought in drones, K9s and a helicopter for the search, according to the report.
A few hours later, around 7:29 p.m., officers responded to the 7400 block of West State Road 44 in Shelby County after receiving a report of a suspicious male in the area. The male, later determined to be Goodwin, was located by Shelby County deputies, the report says.
Goodwin told police he did not have any involvement with the stolen vehicle and pursuit. He was then arrested on a warrant from Jennings County that was issued after he failed to show up in court in a methamphetamine possession case, the report says.
On Tuesday, one of the Franklin officers who saw an unknown male exit the vehicle after the pursuit identified Goodwin as the man he saw, according to the report.
Officers later spoke with a detective from the North Vernon Police Department who said Goodwin was a suspect in the theft of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle later contacted Franklin police and told them how the car was allegedly stolen.
She said that a man had knocked on her door and asked for a drink. While the woman went to get a drink, the man was alone in the living room. When she returned, the man and her car keys were gone, in addition to her car. The description of the man matched Goodwin’s, and she said she did not know him and did not give him permission to take her car, the report says.
Goodwin is held at the Johnson County jail on the out-of-county warrant in lieu of a $2,200 bond.