Traffic stop leads to $100,000 in stolen property, man says ‘I do not steal’

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Bartholomew County couple is behind bars facing a long list of felony charges after a traffic stop leads to $100,000 of stolen items.

“Oh no. It is not me. I do not steal,” said suspect Brian Stewart.

But, Columbus police say Brian Stewart and his wife, Norma Holley, were driving around Columbus with thousands of dollars of stolen items this month.

“I do have proof that I did not steal those items because nobody saw me steal anything,” said Stewart.

Police say they found jewelry and other valuables inside of Stewart’s car.

Investigators say those items were stolen during several burglaries around central Indiana. Stewart tells us someone left those items in his car.

“There was a lot of items in it. Somebody had borrowed it earlier and they paid me and said that they were moving,” said Stewart.

Later, detectives served search warrants at a Columbus home and a storage unit. There, they reportedly found stolen TV’s, a stolen car, watches, passports and social security cards. Around $100,000 of stolen items were recovered in total.

“I’m not saying I never received any stolen property. I do not go out and steal things myself,” said Stewart.

Stewart says he bought some of the items from people in town but never asked questions about where they got the stuff.

“So, people would come to you with social security numbers, passports, audio, and stereo equipment and say how much would you give me for this?” I asked.

Basically,” said Stewart.

Now, he and his wife who were in the car together at the time of arrest are both facing felony charges. Stewart claims his friend owns the storage facility and says a friend left items in his car. He tells us he doesn’t know where they are now.

“Where are those friends now to help you out?"

“I do not know their phone numbers,” said Stewart.

The duo remains behind bars at the Bartholomew County jail, as police try to track down the owners of the stolen property.

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