Man tells police he took neighbor’s items to prevent theft


A 32-year-old Brownstown man was arrested after he told investigators he took items from his neighbor’s home to help prevent others from stealing them, police report.

Cory Gene Wheeler faces a preliminary Level 5 felony charge of burglary and a misdemeanor charge of theft after an incident reported to police Sept. 6.

Assistant Chief Joe Kelly said a resident in the 700 block of West Walnut Street called police to report he was missing some items from inside his house.

Those items included a television, weed trimmer, desktop computer, leaf blower, pressure washer and a drill set, Kelly said.

Officer Natalie Boling investigated the incident and interviewed Wheeler, who lives behind the residence. The pressure washer had been returned but was spray-painted a different color, police said.

"He admitted to taking things because he allegedly heard the house was going to be broken into, so he took the items for safekeeping," Kelly said.

When Boling asked Wheeler if his neighbor knew the items had been taken, he told her that he "doesn’t do things that way," police said.

Chief Tom Hanner, Detective Jac Sanders and Officer Jessiah Watts arrested Wheeler on Tuesday at a residence in the 700 block of West Cross Street.

Wheeler was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 1:59 p.m. Tuesday without bond pending his initial hearing.

A Level 5 felony is punishable between one and six years upon conviction. The advisory sentence is three years.

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