Child Found Walking along State Road 8


A report will be filed with the Starke County Prosecutor’s Office after a four-year-old child was found walking alone down State Road 8 in the area of County Road 1100 East.

The person who made the call picked up the child and waited until an officer arrived at the scene. The officer attempted to locate the child’s home but was unsuccessful. The officer also could not find the child’s parents, so the child’s custody was turned over to the Department of Child Services, according to a press release.

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Teen Arrested on Burglary, Theft Charges


A Knox teen is being held in the Starke County Jail in connection with a Sunday morning  burglary incident.

Officials in the Starke County Dispatch Center fielded a call from a victim in the 7000 South block of 250 West in North Judson. The victim told police that he was outside and saw two men coming out of his garage with arms full of his tools, according to a press release. Chainsaws, a portable welder, hand tools and other power tools were reportedly taken.

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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

North Judson Girl Injured in Starke County Accident


An eight-year-old North Judson girl was airlifted from the scene of a crash at the intersection of County Road 400 South and Range Road Tuesday afternoon.

According to an investigation by the Indiana State Police, Jana N. Sirb, 40, of North Judson was driving east on County Road 400 South when she lost control of her vehicle on the slushy roadway while attempting to stop at the intersection. Robert F. Hajek, 73, of North Judson was unable to avoid Sirb’s car when traveling south on Range Road.

Sirb complained of pain but refused medical treatment, according to the news release. Her daughter, Linora Sirb, 8, was airlifted from the scene to South Bend Memorial Hospital after suffering a severe leg injury. Continue reading

K-9 Assisted Traffic Stop Leads to Two Arrests


A Wednesday traffic stop at the intersection of Lake and McGill Streets in downtown Knox ended with a trip to jail thanks to assistance from Starke County’s new K-9. A deputy pulled over a vehicle driven by David P. Howard, 31, because he was known not to have a valid driver’s license. The vehicle was registered to the passenger, Brandy Gayheart, 22, of Walkerton. Continue reading

Starke County Creates Sheriff’s Department Receptionist Position


The Starke County Sheriff’s Department will soon have a receptionist in addition to the full-time matron after action last week by the Starke County Council and Commissioners. Sheriff Bill Dulin sought permission to add an employee to process civil papers, answer the telephone, greet visitors and provide general clerical support to the department. Some of that work has been done by dispatchers in the past, but Dulin advised the council and commissioners the state jail inspector could cut funds to the 911 center if they are caught doing work not that’s not part of their statutory job description. The county council discussed the issue and decided it’s not worth the risk, especially since funds for the new position are already in the sheriff’s budget. Dulin also noted the floor plan for the new jail is different, and 911 center and main entrance are in separate parts of the building. The matron will continue handling sheriff’s sales and processing payroll and claims for the sheriff’s department. Continue reading

Starke County K9 Officers Graduate from Training

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

Starke County’s new K9 officers have graduated from training at the Von Liche Kennels in Denver, Ind.

Officer Rob Olejniczak and K9 “Terror” have spent the past five weeks learning how to perform traffic stops, building searches, open area searches for drugs, and searches of a suspect. Olejniczak also learned how to detect the dog’s change of behavior when the dog alerts to the presence of drugs. Filing proper paperwork and how to condition the K9 outside of school were other educational topics.

When Olejniczak and “Terror” go into service at the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, they will be available to aid other departments in the county and outside the county for drug searches.

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Starke County Sheriff’s Department Looks into Hacker Shack Fire

Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.
Firefighters extinguished a fire at the location of the old Hacker Shack building.

Officials from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department went to the scene of a Monday night fire at the former Hacker Shack building located on the grounds of the Bass Lake Golf Course.

The building had been torn down and it appeared that the rubble was set on fire like a controlled burn, according to officials.

Bass Lake firefighters were called to the location on 500 South on Monday at 5:30 p.m. and they remained there for a few hours. No injuries were reported.

Three Injured in U.S. 30 Accident


Three people were injured in a traffic accident on U.S. 30 at Knoll Brothers in Starke County this morning.

Starke County deputies conducted an investigation and found that a semi truck pulled out of the truck stop headed west on U.S. 30 when a driver in an SUV traveling in the same direction rear-ended the semi, according to witness accounts released in a news release by the sheriff’s department. The SUV rolled on its side. The SUV was pulling a wood chipper at the time of the accident. The semi was stopped four-tenths of a mile west of the scene on U.S. 30.

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