Suspected Car Thief Arrested in Starke County

A suspected car thief allegedly set this car on fire
A suspected car thief allegedly set this car on fire

A suspect in several burglaries, thefts and auto thefts in Marshall County and in St. Joseph County was taken into custody in Starke County Monday morning.

According to Hamlet police, officers were dispatched to 504 North Starke St. Lot 14 after receiving information about a stolen 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix. Upon arrival, a Hamlet officer noticed another vehicle in the area which wasn’t recognized as belonging to any residents in the neighborhood. After further investigation, it was identified as a stolen vehicle from Marshall County.

While the officer was gathering more information, Starke County dispatchers notified the officer that a 911 call came into the department about a suspicious male at the intersection of State Road 23 and U.S. 30. The description of the man matched the description of Charles Miltonberger of South Bend, the suspect in the stolen vehicle investigation.

The Hamlet officer arrived at State Road 23 and U.S. 30 and found the stolen Grand Prix on fire. Miltonberger fled the scene down the railroad tracks and witnesses helped direct the officers of his location. Perimeters were set and Miltonberger was taken into custody. Miltonberger was arrested on preliminary charges of Auto Theft and Arson. He is being housed in the Starke County Jail.

The investigation into this incident found that Miltonberger is reportedly facing several other charges in Marshall and St. Joseph Counties for similar crimes.