Stolen ACC van found on east side, tranquilizer gun missing

(WISH Photo/Nina Criscuolo)

INDIANAPOLIS¬†(WISH) – Police are searching for two suspects after an Animal Control & Care vehicle was stolen Friday morning. The van was found just before 6 p.m. near Arlington Avenue and Windsor Drive, but it’s what’s missing from inside the vehicle that has police concerned.

“Has ‘Animal Control’ all over the side, lights, sirens, it’s your basic animal control vehicle,” ACC Deputy Chief Amanda Dehoney said.

It’s a visible vehicle. Yet just before 11 Friday morning, police say two people took the truck from the 9600 block of East 37th Place.

“This officer was in close proximity to a home taking care of an official capacity and he came back outside and his vehicle was gone,” IMPD’s Christopher Wilburn said.

This incident comes less than two weeks after ‘Big Red,’ a Taylor’s Bakery truck, was swiped from the store.

But just before 6 p.m. Friday, IMPD received a tip from a woman saying the truck had been sitting on Windsor Drive for most of the day. Similar to Big Red, the truck was just dumped in what seemed to be a random location.

Investigators quickly began gathering fingerprints and other evidence. Animal Control says there were no animals inside when the truck was stolen, but the thieves did get away with the officer’s personal items, as well as a tranquilizer gun and the case containing the drugs used in that gun.

“They look like rifles, some people could use those however they choose to,” Dehoney said. “The drugs are in locked boxes. Hopefully they won’t be able to get in those boxes. They’re keyed locked and we keep the keys on our person at all times.”

It’s a big concern for both ACC and IMPD.

“Any type of narcotic or tranquilizer that is used on an animal could obviously be used on a human being in higher doses,” Wilburn said. “We want to get those off the street.”

Dehoney said the truck was left unlocked with the keys in the ignition at the time of the theft. She said it is policy to leave keys in the ignition, since there are often animals in the truck, but officers are supposed to lock the vehicle.

Dehoney said this is the first time an Animal Control vehicle has been stolen, but they will still review the policies to see if they can’t prevent this from happening again in the future.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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