Shelbyville child abduction threat couple in custody

Robert Clawson (left) Desiree D. Clawson (right) (Provided Photos)

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – Police in Shelbyville arrested a couple wanted in reference to a threat of abducting a child.

Shelby County police officials said 31-year-old Robert Clawson and 18-year-old Desiree D. Clawson were in police custody Friday. Prior to the arrest the entire town was on edge.

“It’s scary. It’s a scary time,” Donald Rowe said.

“There are some real messed up people our here really. It’s really dangerous,” Shelbyville parent Rick Hildebrand said.

“I have grandchildren in all the schools, so that scares me to death,” Cathy Hendrickson said.

Early Friday folks on their way to work kept an eye out for suspects possibly on a moped, identified by police as Desiree and Robert Clawson. It was employees at the Ryobi plant who spotted the couple near the railroad tracks on Mausoleum Road east of Michigan Road, according to Ryobi Human Resources Manager John Chrzanowski. The workers called 911 and police found the pair hiding in the bushes in front of plant 2.

Shelbyville Police Department said they were following up on leads the two were on a moped and looking to abduct a child on Thursday. The pair was taken to the Shelby County Jail on warrants out of White County for theft.

“That’s where they need to be,” Rowe said.

“Friends, relatives, kids are safe, that’s good,” mother Natalie Matney said.

“I’m glad they were caught, there’s probably more of them out there,” Hendrickson said.

Although the risk was removed, it’s not quickly forgotten.

“You have to stay on alert all the time with kids and stuff because you never know. You turn your back and ‘whoop.’ You can never tell what’s going to happen,” Hildebrand said.

“Our kids have always been taught, you don’t go with strangers no matter what. They want to bribe you with candy or money or what, you don’t do that, ” Hendrickson said.

Both Desiree and Robert Clawson are facing theft charges, a Class D felony, from White County. Police say a judge suspended their sentence but then revoked it.

Indiana State Police are not releasing details on the child abduction threat. Police said that is an ongoing investigation and local charges may be filed at a later time. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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