2 arrested in multi-county ‘large-scale theft ring’

Pictured are Frank Bailey, left, and Michael Watson, right. (Provided Photo/Kosciusko County Jail)
Pictured are Frank Bailey, left, and Michael Watson, right. (Provided Photo/Kosciusko County Jail)

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Police arrested two men accused of a crime spree that stretched across five Indiana counties and two Michigan counties.

Frank Bailey, III, 41, of North Webster, and Michael Nicholas Watson, 27, of Leesburg were arrested Thursday on preliminary charges of felony theft, burglary, and auto theft. Bailey was additionally charged with operating a vehicle while never licensed along with a second charge of felony auto theft.

According to a news release from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Bailey and Watson were part of a “large-scale theft ring” that had committed crimes in Noble, Steuben, Starke, and Pulaski counties, along with two counties in Michigan. The sheriff’s department said the Watson and Bailey may have had four additional members in their theft gang.

Officers found two side-by-side UTV’s, eight ATV’s, six trailers, snowmobiles, go-carts, golf carts, motor-cross motorcycles, and mini-bikes, likely stolen, according to the report.

It’s not clear from the report where the officers found the items or how they were able to tie Bailey and Watson to the thefts.

Police expect to make additional arrests as the investigation deepens, the report said.