Center Grove woman says her father’s ashes were among items stolen in rash of car break-ins

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (June 30, 2015) - A woman who lives in the Center Grove area is hoping a thief will do the right thing and return a piece of jewelry containing some of the ashes of her late father.

Shelby Henry was one of several residents in the Fair Oaks subdivision who reported items stolen from cars parked in driveways Monday morning.  The neighborhood, just east of Morgantown Road and south of Fairview Road, is the latest Center Grove area subdivision to be targeted by thieves in recent weeks.

Henry walked out to her Kia Soul to take her son to school Monday morning and could instantly tell that somebody had rifled through her vehicle.

“My middle console had been completely flipped back,” Henry said.  “Everything that was in there was in the back seat or the passenger seat.”

The thief had taken about $10 in loose change, a spare car key, a pair of earrings, and something else far more important.

The thief had stolen a silver, heart-shaped pendant containing ashes from Henry’s late father, Sgt. Gary Henry.  Gary Henry was serving with the Indiana National Guard when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in August 2008.  He was also a member of the Indianapolis Fire Department.

“He was a scuba rescue diver, and a paramedic,” Shelby Henry said.  “He just was a great guy.  He did all kinds of stuff for everybody here and overseas.  And that neckless is really one of the only things I have left of him.”

Henry says when she wasn’t wearing the necklace, she kept it in her car because it made her feel safe while driving.

“That’s irreplaceable and it’s something very precious to me,” she said.  “I just have been really upset over it.”

Henry says she’s not worried about the stolen money or earrings.  But she hopes the thief will realize what was stolen and either return it, or leave it where it can be found.

“You could have taken anything else out of my car but, that necklace was just the most precious thing I had in there and that’s really all I want back.”

Since her car showed no signs of forced entry, she believes she must have forgotten to lock it when she parked in the driveway in the 300 block of Elmscourt Circle.  But one of her neighbors a few doors down had locked the doors to their minivan when they parked it outside.  They found the passenger side windshield shattered Monday morning.  The thief had stolen a purse containing a wallet and passport.  Nearby, in the 100 block of Hawthorne Lane, the only thing stolen from an unlocked truck was a plastic container of chewing gum.

Ben Feldman, who was visiting family in the subdivision, had left several valuable items easily visible when he parked his truck just three doors down from the victims on Hawthorn Lane.  While his truck was locked, he says it still could have proven a tempting target for somebody willing to break a windshield for a purse.

“We did actually have a DVD player, a portable DVD player sitting on our seat on the night of the break-in,” Feldman said.  “But for some reason they never touched our car.”

The thefts and break-in come about a week after five residents reported items stolen from cars nearby in the Willow Lakes subdivision.  Johnson County detectives are still searching for the suspect or suspects involved.

And they may have a lead to work with.

One of the victims in the Fair Oaks subdivision reported that her stolen credit card had been used early Monday morning at a CVS store located in the 2200 block of Shelby Street in Indianapolis.  It was also used at a Phillips 66 station.  Using the timing and locations of one or both of the purchases could lead detectives to surveillance images of the person using the stolen card.

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