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February 27, 2012

Clark County man arrested after thefts from semis

Vehicles were parked at Pilot Travel in Memphis

SELLERSBURG — A Sellersburg man was arrested and charged with burglary after police say he stole more than $1,000 worth of items from vehicles parked a a Memphis truck stop.

Billy Boyd French, 51, was charged with seven felonies and a misdemeanor after a week-long investigation by the Indiana State Police involving thefts from vehicles parked at the Pilot Travel Plaza.

The investigation began last week when Trooper Rob Caudill received information about merchandise being stolen from semi-tractor trailers left parked at the travel plaza, according to a press release from ISP. During Caudill’s investigation, he learned that French was an employee at the travel plaza and while working, would regularly drive around the parking lot in a golf cart to collect trash. While on the golf cart, police say French would park between semi trailers, make entry into the trailers and take merchandise.

Troopers began a surveillance detail Sunday morning at the travel plaza, during which they watched French enter a semi-trailer and remove merchandise. After removing the item, he placed it in the golf cart he was driving and then took it to his personal vehicle that was parked on the travel plaza property, the release says. As troopers continued the investigation by searching French’s car, they also located other items they say were stolen from the Pilot Travel Plaza.

 After completing the investigation at the travel plaza, troopers executed a search warrant at French’s apartment at the 10900 block of U.S. 31 in Sellersburg. Additional stolen items from semi-trailers and the Pilot Travel Plaza were located there, according to ISP.

French was arrested and incarcerated in the Clark County Jail on the charges of class C felony burglary; two counts of class D felony theft; three counts of class D felony possession of stolen property. As troopers initially approached French on Sunday, he was operating a golf cart on the travel plaza property. They determined he was intoxicated so he was also charged with class D felony operating while intoxicated with a prior conviction and class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

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