FORTVILLE, Ind. — An Indianapolis man has been charged after employees at a church in Fortville claim he came into the church office and stole various banking cards, a make-up bag and cash.
According to court documents, filed late last month in Hancock County Circuit Court, 71-year-old William Cox was charged with one count of burglary, a Level 5 felony; one count of theft where value of the property is between $750 and $50,000, a Level 6 felony; one count of identity deception, a Level 6 felony, and one count of having a prior conviction for theft, a Level 6 felony.
Officers with the Fortville Police Department were contacted regarding a theft at Mercy Road Church on Aug. 15. According to the affidavit of probable cause, a church employee told officers her wallet and make-up bag were stolen out of her purse.
Surveillance footage showed an unidentified man, later identified as Cox, enter the church, go to various places inside the church and allegedly leave with various items. The woman informed the officer that later, there were fraudulent charges on two bank accounts, as well as the church’s credit card, from various businesses. Footage from some of the businesses allegedly showed Cox purchasing groceries, gas and other items after the incident.
Through additional surveillance footage, they tracked down the suspected vehicle to be a GMC Acadia that was sold at a dealership in Indianapolis. Through this, Cox’s address and information was also tracked down, as well as a previous criminal history. Officials said Cox had previously been convicted of theft in Marion County and had a pending case in Hamilton County in April 2022 for one count of theft with a prior conviction for theft.
During the course of the initial investigation, an additional employee at Mercy Road Church reported a theft from that same day. Officials said another woman realized she was missing an envelope containing $200 that was in her purse.
An initial hearing in this case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon via video conferencing software, according to court documents.