Arrest of sleeping suspect may be tied to recent Culver thefts

LAPAZ — A man found sleeping in a vehicle at McDonald’s in LaPaz is a suspect in a series of burglaries that occurred in Culver over the weekend.

According to information provided by the Marshall County Sheriff’s office, Russell A. Prosser, Jr., 43, of South Bend (formerly of Culver), was taken into custody at approximately 4:31 a.m. Monday. He has been charged initially with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. An investigation is ongoing.

According to the scenario outlined in the police report, Marshall County patrolman Nicholas Laffoon discovered Prosser in a vehicle parked in the LaPaz restaurant parking lot. The vehicle was possibly linked to one used in previous thefts in the Culver area earlier in the year and incidents of theft in Culver on Sunday evening, Dec. 8.

During this incident an officer from the Culver Police Department had chased a suspect who had fled the area on foot. Ultimately the Culver officer was unable to locate the suspect after the foot chase. It was later determined that the suspect had apparently fled the area in a vehicle, later identified as the vehicle Laffoon located.

Culver Police confirmed that a number of items had been taken from unlocked vehicles and buildings in Culver.

Culver Town Marshal Wayne Bean said Prosser was arrested approximately two years ago for petty theft in Culver and Argos. Bean said the investigation in Culver is still underway and a press release about the incidents there is expected to be released in the near future.

He did emphasize, in connection with these incidents, the importance of locking vehicles and buildings, even in a small town like Culver.

All of the thefts from Sunday night took place in unlocked vehicles and buildings, and had they occurred in locked spaces would have amounted to breaking and entering, rather than theft.

The charges filed by Marshall County in relation to the firearm stem from a rifle found in the vehicle. Also inside the car were several items allegedly taken during the Sunday evening Culver thefts. At this time Mr. Prosser was detained at the scene, and ultimately transported to the Marshall County Jail. Marshall County was assisted by the Culver Police Department during this investigation.

The incident is still under investigation by both departments and formal charges are pending through the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office.

Culver Citizen editor Jeff Kenney assisted in the writing of this article.