Police: Cousins fled from North Vernon officers, caught after foot chase

Two people were arrested Sunday morning as part of an investigation into an armed robbery in North Vernon.

Terry Birge, 22, of North Vernon, and Malinda Birge, 26, of Dupont both face charges of robbery, burglary, battery, theft and resisting law enforcement by fleeing, according to a news release from Sgt. Andrew Richmond with the North Vernon Police Department. Terry Birge also faces a charge of intimidation.

The incident that led to the arrests of the cousins began when North Vernon officers Todd Fleetwood and Scotty Willis responded to a report of suspicious people walking around apartments in the 200 block of FDR Drive. That was at 6:03 a.m. Sunday.

When Fleetwood and Willis arrived, they reported seeing two people who ran away from them.

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Police, however, were able to catch the two, later identified as Terry Birge and Malinda Birge, after a short foot chase.

When they were caught, the Birges had masks and a bag of items, police said.

Some of the items belonged to two robbery victims who called in that crime shortly after officers had the Birges in custody, police said.

The victims told police two people had entered their apartment on FDR Drive, displayed a firearm and struck one of the victims with the gun before leaving with some of the victims’ belongings. The victims were taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon for treatment and later released.

Officers were able to recover two masks, gloves and two pellet guns.

The Birges were booked into the Jennings County Jail at 7:40 a.m. Sunday and were being held on $4,055 bond.

The robbery and burglary charges are Level 2 felonies, punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison upon conviction. The battery and intimidation charges are Level 5 felonies, while the theft and resisting law enforcement charges are Class A misdemeanors.