ALBION — A Wolcottville man with a history of pilfering automobiles was arrested Saturday night following a day in which he allegedly stole two vehicles and fled from police twice.
Duane D. Mayfield, 32, of the 200 block of South Albany Street, was arrested at 10:52 p.m. Saturday and booked into the Noble County Jail by Avilla police on charges of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, a Level 6 felony; auto theft, a Level 6 felony; and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
Mayfield also was held on multiple warrants.
Saturday’s chain of events began with Mayfield allegedly stealing a Chevy Equinox from Butler at approximately 5:30 a.m., according to police.
Auburn Police Department Cpl. Sean Miller said Auburn officers spotted the Equinox, and Mayfield allegedly sped away, leading to a pursuit. At approximately 6 a.m., he crashed in the West Edge Mobile Home Park in Auburn and fled on foot, eluding police.
From there, police allege Mayfield stole a Ford Explorer from the Angola area. According to Miller, an investigation led police to believe Mayfield might be headed to the Avilla area.
At approximately 7 p.m. Saturday, officers with the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, Noble County Sheriff’s Department, Kendallville Police Department, Auburn Police Department, Avilla Town Marshal’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service’s Fugitive Task Force, converged on the Avilla area.
Mayfield was spotted in the Explorer and fled in the vehicle.
Mayfield eventually allegedly crashed the Explorer into a fence row in the area of C.R. 900E and C.R. 100S, then fled on foot with another man from the vehicle into an unharvested corn field. Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Kreger said after a foot search failed to locate the men, a State Police helicopter flew to the area of C.R. 900E and C.R. 100S.
Mayfield was located using technology on the helicopter, and was found hiding under cornstalks.
The other man who fled from the vehicle, Michael A. Bogatitus, 30, of the 600 block of Berry Lane, Kendallville, was arrested on a charge of resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor. Bogatitus was held on $3,500 bond.
Mayfield will be charged in DeKalb County with auto theft, resisting arrest with a vehicle, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of a crash.
According to Miller, police were able to recover four stolen vehicles Saturday as a result of their investigation. Two of the vehicles were located by the Butler Police Department.
Miller said Saturday’s arrest was a team effort.
“Without the coordinated efforts of several law enforcement agencies, this wouldn’t have come to the safe resolution it did,” Miller said.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department also assisted.
Mayfield has now had four run-ins with the law regarding stolen vehicles in 2019:
• On Jan. 26, Mayfield was charged in Steuben County with auto theft and possession of methamphetamine, both Level 6 felonies. That case is pending.
• On Feb. 15, he was charged in LaGrange County with auto theft. On May 6, he was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison in that case, with all but 200 days suspended.
• On Sept. 23, he was charged in LaGrange County with two counts of auto theft. That case is pending.
Mayfield was convicted of auto theft in Noble County in a case that was filed Dec. 16, 2014.
Kreger said authorities had been looking for Mayfield for some time.
“We just couldn’t find him,” Kreger said. “We would figure out what car he was driving, and he’d steal another one.”
The value of vehicles to their rightful owner isn’t lost on law enforcement.
“It’s the second largest investment they make, other than their house,” Kreger said.