Arson, burglary charges pending

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

At least three suspects have been identified in a series of recent vehicle burglaries, arson and a residential burglary in Iola.
Another suspect faces charges of obstructing the legal process after arranging a drop-off exchange of a stolen gun.
One of the suspects, Ethan Hawkins, 16, is already in custody in a juvenile detention facility in Girard.
Hawkins was arrested for residential burglary and at least one vehicle burglary. Two other suspects have been identified and questioned. Charges are expected to be filed against at least one of those suspects.
The investigation was aided by a tipster who notified Allen County Crime Stoppers of a stolen iPod, said Mike Ford, community resource officer.
That information led to the arrest of Hawkins and the execution of two search warrants, one in Iola and the other Carlyle. The search warrant in Carlyle resulted in the seizure of a shotgoun with an illegal length. The Iola search warrant netted what officers described as marijuana.
Weapons and drug charges are being sought against the suspects, whose names are being withheld until charges are filed.
Ford said the Allen County Crime Stoppers Board of Directors will meet in July to determine the reward amount for the anonymous tipster.
The case is one of several that have been cracked in recent years through Crime Stoppers, Ford said.
Those with information about these or any other crimes can contact Crime Stoppers toll-free at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

AS THE burglary and arson investigation progressed, officers were approached by an individual who knew about a handgun stolen from an Iola residence.
Against police recommendations, the suspect arranged for the handgun to be dropped off at the Old Allen County Jail Museum, where its location was phoned into the police department June 18.
The suspect, who has not been identified, then further refused to answer questions about the incident. Officers are requesting Allen County Attorney Jerry Hathaway file charges of aiding a felon and felony obstruction of the legal process.
The Iola Police Department, with assistance from the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, is investigating the crimes.