WESTVILLE – Westville residents are being reminded to lock their cars and secure valuables after three men were arrested for stealing items from parked vehicles early Monday, according to police.

"With the assistance of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s office, three individuals were arrested in connection with dozens of vehicle break-ins throughout LaPorte County," a statement from Westville Police said, "... the suspects were apprehended after several vehicles were broken into in the Westville area."

La Porte County Sheriff's deputies responded about 2:45 a.m. to a report of "suspicious activity" in the 100 block of Spruce Street, according to the sheriff's office.

"Deputies were advised that a dark colored sport utility vehicle had possibly dropped off two subjects, who may be entering vehicles in the area," Capt. Derek Allen said.

When the first deputy arrived just after 3 a.m., he stopped an SUV matching the description of the suspect vehicle at Ash Parkway and CR-300 South. The driver, identified as 19-year-old Quinn M. Daley of La Porte, "admitted that he had indeed dropped off two subjects in the area who were stealing from motor vehicles," Allen said.

At 3:19 a.m. another deputy found another suspect in the 300 block of Ash Parkway, and he was identified as 19-year-old Austen T. Wood of La Porte, according to the sheriff's office.

"For an extended period of time, deputies continued searching for the third subject by following footprints in the freshly fallen snow," Allen said.

And about an hour later, another deputy found the third subject, identified as 24-year-old Dominic M. Jones of La Porte, near the south junction of U.S. 421 and Ind. 2, according to police.

The suspects were taken to the La Porte County Jail and charged with felony theft; while Woods and Jones were also charged with misdemeanor unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, Allen said. Police also learned that Jones was wanted on a failure to appear arrest warrant out of St. Joseph County on an unrelated residential entry charge.

A search of the vehicle turned up a total of 65 stolen articles, $82 in cash and $5.82 in loose change, according to police. 

"The recovered stolen property is estimated to be worth approximately $2,600," Allen said. "Citizens are urged to remove valuable personal property from motor vehicles and to secure their vehicles at all times."

Residents who wish to report a theft to report should contact Westville Police and, "We will add it to what has already been discovered," the statement said.

All three suspects were being held in the La Porte County Jail on $755 cash bonds, pending appearances Wednesday in La Porte CIrcuit Court.

—From staff reports

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