Knox County Sheriff, Mike Morris, states,”Township fire department is still investigating the cause, they determined a location of the fire. We have a crime scene technician here along with our detectives who are obtaining search warrants for the rest of the properties.” The three suspects are in detention in the Lawrence County Jail in Illinois. Morris believes that the investigation will continue into early next week.
Police take into custody three persons in connection with suspected arson of Executive Storage Units in Vincennes.
The fire at the Executive Storage Units started around 12:15 p.m. and a witness saw people fleeing from the scene in a vehicle that could have been a cause to the fire. This witness lost sight of them in Illinois near the Roberson Hills area.
Just before 1 p.m., while the Deputies were still searching the area where the suspects were last seen, a property owner 2 miles north of Westport on Route 33 called and reported a vehicle that matched the description of the one in question on their property. When this call came in Sheriff Mike Morris and several of his deputies, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Vincennes Police, and the VUPD went to the location. It was then confirmed the vehicle was the one that was seen fleeing from the scene.
Each of the units established a spot around the location of the abandoned vehicle and started a ground search of the area and also used the Knox County Sheriff K-9 tracking dogs. Air support was also being used to assist the ground units. After a short period, 3 males were spotted in the woods and a short chase ensued. All three suspects were detained and taken into custody at 1:04 p.m.
Michael J. Mitchell, 36, of Vincennes and his son Michael D. Mitchell, 18, of Vincennes were arrested. There was also a juvenile that was also arrested. All three were taken to the Lawrence County Jail and then juvenile was then taken to the Southwest Indiana Regional Youth Village in Vincennes.
Both Mitchells are being charged with Arson, Burglary, Criminal Mischief, and Criminal Recklessness and remain in the Lawrence County Jail with additional Illinois charges to come. There will be court hearings in both Knox and Lawrence counties.
K-9 Captain Hicks was injured and later released from Good Samaritan Hospital with only minor injuries.
Lawrence County and Knox County police have managed to capture three subjects in question to the fire in the area of Route 33 and Memorial bridge area. Suspects were seen throwing items from the vehicle. They were captured in the location of LaSata Wines. K9 Units were called into look for the suspects. Police advise that one of the suspects is 14 year-old. No names are being released at this time. Many of the items that were stolen from Executive storage by the suspects were recovered after many of the items fell out of the truck the suspects used to flee the scene, according to Knox County Sheriff, Mike Morris.
Meanwhile, back on Old US 67, Crews are continuing to work a structure fire at the Executive Storage Units. We have been told that meth items were found near the scene. State Fire Marshall office has been called to the scene.
There were also reports of some popping sounds coming from the units and it was believed to have been ammunition. Caller chased the possible suspects that allegedly started the fire from Old State Road 61 to and area along Route 33 in Lawrence County.
We do have a news crew on scene. We’ll have more as it becomes available.