Starke County Man Arrested On Auto Theft Charges

A Starke County man was arrested Monday on an active arrest warrant for Auto Theft.

The charge stems from an incident on May 3, when Phillip Frazier reported to Starke County police that a black pickup truck parked in front of his residence was stolen. The vehicle had a flat rear tire and the motor was blown. Frazier said that he had not been at the residence and didn’t witness who might have taken the vehicle.

The suspect, David Whitfield, and his brother, Joshua Whitfield, had reportedly gone to the property on 300 East in Knox and hooked the black pickup truck to the back of the red pickup they were driving and drove away with it. Since the rear tire was flat, a rut was created in the asphalt so the responding officer followed the rut to trace the location of the truck.

During the search, the officer was flagged down by a woman who said that a person driving a red pickup was pulling a black pickup truck earlier that morning and sparks were flying all over the place due to the flat rear tire scraping along the pavement. As the officer continued in his search, he followed the rut marks and shredded pieces of tire to Starke County Recycling on US 35 south of Knox.

It was determined that Whitfield had scrapped the vehicle. The staff told police that the cab had already been crushed and the frame was separated. Officers were able to obtain the license plate number which returned to Frazier Auction Service and the owner, Frazier.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Whitfield and he was arrested Monday on a charge of Auto Theft. Joshua Whitfield was arrested earlier on the same charge in this case. Whitfield pleaded not guilty in an initial hearing in Starke Circuit Court on May 10.