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Excise officer fired;

The Journal Gazette,
BYLINE: Jeff Wiehe | The Journal Gazette |

Fort Wayne IN

2010-11-25_INT_Excise officer fired

named in evidence-room thefts

FORT WAYNE – An Indiana State Excise Police officer was locked up and lost his job Wednesday.

Aaron M. Bishop, 34, has been charged in an August burglary of the excise police post in Columbia City where he worked. Guns and money were stolen from an evidence room during the burglary, and Bishop was probably helped by an accomplice, according to the Indiana State Police.

Police arrested Bishop at his Fort Wayne home early Wednesday and booked him into the Whitley County Jail on charges of official misconduct and theft, both felonies. He later posted $16,000 bond and was released.

By the afternoon, Bishop had been fired by the State Excise Police, according to officer Jennifer Fults, that agency’s spokeswoman. Bishop had been an excise officer for about five years.

The burglary took place Aug. 4 at the excise police’s post at 1353 S. Governors Drive in Columbia City, according to police. The investigation of Bishop lasted three months and was initiated by Whitley County sheriff’s Detective Chuck Voegley.

He eventually was assisted by Whitley County prosecutor investigator Mike Christie and Detective Mark Heffelfinger of the Indiana State Police.

A note teasing police was left in the wake of the burglary, Heffelfinger said. The note made it appear the guns and money were stolen in retaliation for police seizing someone’s property. That note, however, was nothing more than a diversion to keep police off the trail of the suspects, Heffelfinger said.

Police searched Bishop’s home in the 7000 block of Stonegate Place on Tuesday night and found evidence linking him to the crime, according to police.

More evidence was found at a home in Edon, Ohio, where Bishop’s alleged accomplice lives. That man, who has yet to be charged in the case, is being held in the Williams County (Ohio) Jail on an unrelated charge.

Police also have yet to name that suspect.

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