A Crawfordsville man stole a Montgomery County Highway Department pickup truck from a Waveland convenience store in a string of vehicle thefts Wednesday before police caught up with him in Fountain County, authorities said.
Justin Thomas Booth, 31, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday on auto theft charges and released on a promise to appear, according to jail records.
The spree began around 4 p.m. with the theft of a green Ford Explorer from Automotive Technical Services in New Market, Sheriff Ryan Needham said.
The SUV was ditched at a home in the 8300 block of C.R. 750W, where police say Booth stole a black Ford Explorer and continued on to the Waveland F&F Mart. Booth allegedly left that vehicle and drove away in a red Ford F150 pickup truck belonging to the highway department.
A woman at the store called the police around the same time the other vehicles were reported stolen.
A Covington police officer stopped the highway truck in Fountain County, Needham said. Booth was arrested and transferred to the jail. Formal charges had not been filed as of midday Thursday. The truck was returned to the highway department.
Needham urges drivers to lock their vehicles and not leave the keys inside.
Booth was convicted in a felony theft case in 2009, court records show. The charges were reduced to class A misdemeanors under Indiana’s alternative misdemeanor sentencing law before he was released from probation in 2011.