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Police: Suspect linked to burglaries

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Police have arrested a Greenwood man they think was involved in at least two burglaries this week.

Christopher Mars, 27, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant for probation violation and on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. When he was arrested, deputies found items in a vehicle he was driving that were reported stolen this week, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Late Sunday or early Monday, vehicles, a barn and a garage were broken into at four homes near Whiteland. Electronics, a chainsaw, a violin and an all-terrain vehicle were stolen.

The night of the burglaries, Whiteland police spotted a suspicious car parked in a church parking lot near where the break-ins happened. The car belonged to a relative of Mars, and sheriff’s deputies confronted him while investigating the burglaries, the news release said.

They found a violin at his home, which Mars said he got from a friend, the release said.

Mars was arrested on a warrant for violating probation on a domestic battery case. During the arrest, officers found drugs in the car, along with an iPod and chainsaw that had been reported stolen from the properties earlier this week, the release said.

Mars has denied being involved in the burglaries, the release said.

One of the cars broken into belonged to Coroner Craig Lutz. His laptop, digital tablet, gun and government identification badge were stolen. None of those items have been found, the release said.

Mars, 11 Hidden Bay Drive, was taken to the Johnson County jail, where he was being held on $6,000 bond.

The sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help with information about Mars, his activities the night of the burglaries or his associates. Anyone with information is asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 346-4604.

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