Knox Man Sentenced for Theft, Auto Theft

A Knox man received his sentence in the Starke Circuit Court this week after he pleaded guilty to charges of Auto Theft as a Class D felony and Theft as a Class D felony following his arrest on March 8, 2012.

Zachary Tomerlin, 19, faced two cases in the Starke Circuit Court; the charges of Theft stemmed from an incident in March when police received a report of subjects stealing scrap metal from a barn in Starke County. An investigation into the matter led police to arrest Tomerlin and Daniel Bradley, 21, for the theft.

Tomerlin was also arrested on May 19, 2012, when he allegedly stole a vehicle from Jade Draper at a party at a Starke County residence. When Draper woke up in the morning, her car had been taken. Police received a report of a wrecked car in the area of 2100 E. 50 S., which turned out to be Draper’s vehicle. An investigation led police to view Tomerlin as a suspect, and after he was found and identified by a witness, admitted to stealing the vehicle. He said he was high on clonopin, marijuana, and had been drinking, and stole the car for a joyride before wrecking it and fleeing the scene.

For the Auto Theft charge, Tomerlin was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections with 12 months suspended to be served on probation. The six-month executed sentence can be served on home detention. He received the same charges for the Theft charge, but the sentences will run consecutively, giving him a total of 24 months on probation and 12 months on home detention. He is also required to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $4422.50 to Jade Draper and $1679.36 to the victims of the scrap metal theft.