Lucky timing, quick reactions help catch man suspected in dozens of Lowe’s, Home Depot thefts

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INDIANAPOLIS (October 14, 2015) - Police say a crime spree lasting several months has come to an end for an Indianapolis man, partially due to a traffic stop that didn’t even involve him.

Monday night, Marion County sheriff's deputies were performing a traffic stop in the parking lot of the Home Depot Store located at 21st Street and Post Road.  As the deputies were talking to the pulled-over driver, a security officer from the store ran to them saying a man had just stolen nearly $800 in power tools before shoving a store employee to the ground in order to escape.  The deputies, including a K9 unit, chased the man on foot and captured him.

The deputies say Daniel Ervin had nearly $800 in power tools on him.  He also had open warrants for theft in Morgan and Hendricks counties.  Police say he has also been busy stealing expensive tools around Indianapolis.

“We believe that he is directly involved in upwards of 23 separate thefts from these hardware stores,” said IMPD Lt. Richard Riddle, referring only to Marion County cases.

“Our detectives have learned that he will sell these items on the black market,” Riddle said.

Ervin was pictured in a police bulletin sent out in August, asking the public to be on the lookout for two men stealing expensive tools from area Lowe's and Home Depot stores.  Detectives from other counties are now reviewing unsolved cases to see if Ervin is responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in stolen tools.

“It would not surprise me if $30,000 is a figure that other detectives are looking at,” Riddle said.

Mooresville Police Detective Bard Yarnell says Ervin was most recently released from prison in January this year.  He also has prior theft cases dating back to 1997 in Johnson, Hancock and Hamilton counties.

“This individual took it upon himself to steal expensive items and make a living by selling them on the black market,” Riddle said.

Riddle said it’s not yet known if Ervin was working with a second man who was pictured in the August police bulletin.  Detectives are still gathering information to determine the scope of the charges.  Police agencies in several counties may file charges against Ervin, who is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning.

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