Starke EMS Prepared to Treat K-9s

Travis Clary and Candice Austin show off the pet oxygen masks Starke County EMS recently obtained through a grant.
Travis Clary and Candice Austin show off the pet oxygen masks Starke County EMS recently obtained through a grant.

Starke County EMS ambulances are now equipped to help the county’s four-legged law enforcement officers as well as civilian animals. The county ambulance service recently got a grant from Invisible Fence for free pet oxygen masks. Continue reading

K9 Assists in Apprehension of Robbery Suspect

Cody Cooley
Cody Cooley

Officers from several Starke County law enforcement agencies assisted in the apprehension of a man at a Koontz Lake residence on an out-of-county robbery warrant. They responded to a home in the 7700 block of Tippecanoe Drive this morning to arrest 30-year-old Cody Cooley on a warrant from Dearborn County. A news release from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office indicates they spotted him through a sliding door trying to hide in an upstairs closet. Continue reading

Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest


A passenger in a vehicle that was stopped because it did not have a windshield ended up taking a ride in a police car. Starke County Sheriff’s Office Chief Detective Rob Olejniczak pulled over a vehicle driven by 34-year-old Shannon Watts of North Judson on 500 North at 750 East in Hamlet on Wednesday, May 26, according to a news release. Continue reading

Starke County Investigators Find Two Meth Labs, Suspect At Large


Investigators from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office are looking for a Knox man they believe was was making meth in his basement. They responded to a home in the 3000 east block of 200 South in Knox on Tuesday, May 5 after another man found a meth lab in the basement and called the police. Deputies from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office found the lab, precursors used to make meth, syringes and marijuana but were unable to locate the suspected cook, according to a news release. He’s identified as James Messer, 34, of Knox. Continue reading

Domestic Violence Suspect Arrested Following Manhunt

Benny Giselbach
Benny Giselbach

A Knox man faces several new felony charges following a Wednesday manhunt in the Bass Lake area. It started around 12:20 p.m. when the Starke County 911 center got a call from the Bass Lake Pub. The caller told the dispatcher a woman showed up there in handcuffs and shackles saying she had been held hostage and “water boarded.” The victim told deputies she lived across the street and had fled her home on foot. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Bless Inmate Work Crew, Defer Action on K9

Starke County Sheriff's Department BadgeInmates at the Starke County Jail could soon be picking up trash along county roadways under the supervision of a corrections officer. The Starke County Commissioners last night blessed Sheriff Bill Dulin’s plan to establish an inmate road crew of between three and five people to bag up debris for the county highway department to collect. Superintendent Rik Ritzler says it shouldn’t be a problem if the inmates stay in one area and Dulin coordinates schedules with him in advance. The road crew will not cost the county any additional money. The commissioners agreed it will be beneficial to the county in terms of beautification and making the inmates work. Continue reading

Second Suspect Arrested in Burglary Investigation

Robert Manns

Another suspect has been arrested in a burglary investigation in Starke County.

On Feb. 16, a North Judson man called police to report that two men were coming out of his garage with his possessions and ran through the woods. Officers were able to track footprints to a neighboring pole barn to the north where the stolen items were found, according to a press release.

Rickie Clemons, 19, of Knox was arrested on site and has preliminary charges of burglary and theft.

Robert Manns, 40, of Knox had an active warrant for his arrest for his alleged involvement in this burglary. His information was featured on the Starke County’s Most Wanted list, and an anonymous tip led police to his location. On Thursday, March 12, deputies from the Stake County Sheriff’s Department, along with the K9 unit, arrived at a home in the 6200 south block of 250 W. in North Judson. Officers heard movement in the residence and after five minutes, a woman answered the door, according to police. They entered the residence with K9 Terror and located Manns hiding in a trap door and arrested him without incident.

Manns was booked into the Starke County Jail on charges of burglary and theft. Both suspects are being held in the Starke County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges in Starke Circuit Court on Friday morning and was appointed a public defender.

The Starke County Most Wanted list is available by clicking here.

K9 Assisted Drug Investigation Leads to Two Arrests

Rob Olejniczak and "Terror"
Rob Olejniczak and “Terror”

A man and a woman face numerous drug charges after officers from the Hamlet Police Department and Starke County Sheriff’s Department reportedly found a one-pot meth lab and more inside their residence Wednesday afternoon. They were investigating a report of drug activity at the Hamlet Apartments at 205 South Main Street, according to officials with the Hamlet P.D. They say the residents agreed to a search of the apartment, and Starke County Sheriff’s Department K9 Terror indicated narcotics were present. The officers reportedly found a one-pot meth lab, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, drug precursors and paraphernalia. Continue reading

Starke County Sheriff’s Department Gets New K9

K9 Terror
K9 Terror

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has sold one of its K9s to Starke County.

Sheriff Michael Gayer told WKVI News that the K9 officer resigned abruptly and no other officer in the department wanted to resume the responsibility of K9 “Terror”. He reached out to other departments to see if a K9 could help them. One department that expressed interest was the Starke County Sheriff’s Department. The K9 and a kennel were sold to Starke County for $8,500 about two weeks ago.

The Pulaski County commissioners discussed the K9 situation Monday night during their meeting where Commissioner Terry Young was not pleased with the amount of money for which the K9 was sold. Commission President Larry Brady gave the sheriff the option of including the vehicle with the K9 and the kennel at a price of $17,000 or leave the vehicle for use by a department head. The vehicle stayed with the county.

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