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Man charged in politically motivated Morristown tire vandalism enters diversion program and will pay restitution

Starting in August of 2022, the Morristown Police Department received multiple complaints of nails, screws, and other metal fasteners being found in driveways along U.S. 52 and driveways within the Morristown town limits.

As a result of metal fasteners being left behind, tire damage occurred to vehicles and yard equipment and homeowners were forced to spend several hours a day cleaning and checking their driveways before and after leaving and returning home.

Metal fasteners were found multiple times a week by victims.

 

 

The incidents continued until mid-October 2022 when a vehicle was captured on surveillance video by a Morristown resident. The driver of the vehicle was actively dropping metal fasteners in the resident’s driveway while passing by. 

The vehicle description was forwarded to the Morristown Police Department along with the video. The Morristown Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff's Department installed covert video surveillance equipment at the locations where the incidents were occurring and were able to determine the same vehicle was passing the locations that were reporting the incidents.

Using the captured video surveillance and the Flock Safety network, an owner of the vehicle was determined.

A few days later one of the victims witnessed the suspect's vehicle entering Morristown and followed it. While following the vehicle the victim witnessed the suspect throw items from the suspect's vehicle into the victim’s driveway and witnessed the same occur at another victim’s residence. The victim followed the suspect’s vehicle notifying Shelby County Dispatch of what was being observed and giving additional details used to determine a suspect.

Due to the efforts of this Morristown resident and with assistance from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, a warrant was requested and issued for Kevin M. Sulzer of Indianapolis. Sulzer turned himself into the Shelby County Jail in late November 2022 and was released on bond.

On Thursday, Sulzer entered a diversion program through Shelby County Superior Court 2 and was ordered to pay restitution to the victims of the crimes committed.

The victims were unknown to Sulzer when the crimes occurred. It was determined during the investigation that the victims were targeted due to their political affiliation being different than Sulzer’s. The victims were targeted due to flags, yard signs, and banners displayed at their residences.

Additional victims have been located in Hancock County and a report has been filed in that county.

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