Law and Order Porter County
September 17, 2012 1:30PM
Updated: September 17, 2012 9:53PM
Cooking oil causes house fire, burns
An unattended turkey fryer ignited a house fire at about 5 p.m. Sunday in the 100 block of Goodview Drive, southwest of Valparaiso.
Brian Mager, 46, who suffered burns to his hands and arms, told police the fryer was in the garage, and he lit the burner then went inside the house for about 15 minutes while waiting for the oil to heat so he could cook chicken wings. When he returned, the fryer was on fire. He tried to take it outside, but the oil spilled and the fire became out of control.
Mager got the rest of his family outside without injuries. The house was fully engulfed and was extinguished by the Boone Grove Fire Department.
Copper wire thieves strike South Shore tracks
NICTD Transit Police are investigating six copper wire thefts along the South Shore Line between the town of Pines to just east of Michigan City.
Between Thursday night and Sunday night, NICTD Police Chief Robert Byrd said thieves stole copper wire from four spots between Beverly Shores and the Porter-LaPorte County line. The two other incidents were reported between Royal Road in Michigan City and LaPorte County Road 400W in Springfield Township.
The wire that was stolen is described as a one-inch-thick strand of multiple small copper wires, which are wrapped in thick black insulation. Thieves typically remove the casing by burning or cutting it off, then they sell the wire to local scrap yards.
The missing wire caused train signals to go red and resulted in delays to morning rush hour passenger trains since certain rail joints are electrically burned and damaged.
“The cost of repairing the damage is enormous, but the risk of being electrocuted or struck and killed by a speeding train is very real,” Byrd said.
Anyone with information on the thefts can call NICTD Transit Police at 398-6000. Information is kept confidential.
Man accused of stealing liquor
Larry Lee, 32, of Portage, was arrested on seven felony counts after allegedly stealing alcohol from his employer on six dates since Aug. 17, and for reportedly driving to work despite being an habitual traffic violator. Police arrested Lee at about 1:20 a.m., shortly after he was fired from Wal-Mart, at 6087 U.S. 6.
Man crashed on ‘borrowed’ cycle
Shawn Shivley, 35, of South Haven, was hospitalized after crashing a friend’s motorcycle at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the 400 block of Prescott Road. The owner of the white 2004 Harley Davidson told police Shivley took it without permission.
Shively has a prior conviction, police said, so he is expected to be charged with felony drunken driving.
Drunken driving causes 2 crashes
Seth Gunter, 22, of Salt Creek Commons, was arrested after being involved in two separate crashes at about 11 p.m. Friday.
Another driver called police when Gunter’s pickup reportedly scraped the side of his vehicle while trying to pass him in a narrow aisle in the parking lot of the Franklin House, 58 Campbell St.
Gunter’s white 1998 Ford F-150 then crashed at Lincolnway and Yellowstone, getting stuck on two boulders, police said. Gunter is charged with felony drunken driving, with a prior conviction, and a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of a crash.
After-hours park visit leads to arrests
Two young adults were arrested on drug charges after being found after-hours at Kirchoff Park, 400 N. Roosevelt.
At about 11:20 p.m. Friday, police arrested Jacob Baker, 19, of Valparaiso, for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Jack Greenboam, 20, of Kouts, for misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, as their vehicle allegedly fled north on Roosevelt Road.
Two females in the vehicle were released without charges after the men claimed possession of the illegal items.