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Peru man faces burglary charges in Huntington case

by ANDREW CHRISTMAN - achristman@h-ponline.com

A Peru man is facing burglary charges after allegedly breaking into a Huntington home and stealing cash and loose change.

A police report filed by Huntington Police Department officer Steve Sims says Sims responded to the reported burglary on the morning of April 7, at which time the victims told him Matthew Brock, 20, had been at the residence the night before.

Sims wrote that the female victim noticed the back door to her residence was open and her purse and wallet were lying in her child’s play room. The victim reportedly said she checked her wallet and found $230 in cash was gone, as was her child’s bucket which reportedly contained $30 to $40 in change. 

The female victim then reportedly yelled for the male victim of the residence after she noticed a window in the family room had been opened and a trash can had been placed against the house.

Both victims alleged Brock was involved with the burglary, as he had been in the residence the night before and has a history of legal trouble.

In a supplemental report from HPD detective Shane Blair, fingerprints were identified and taken from the open window. While preparing to leave the scene, Blair wrote he spoke with a neighbor who stated he had noticed a pickup truck with blue trim idling across the street from the victims’ residence. The neighbor later identified the truck as being at the residence Brock was staying at.

Blair wrote that upon his arrival at the residence where Brock was staying, he identified the pickup truck and a white SUV, which Brock had been noted to be driving previously. Blair wrote he provided registration of the SUV to Huntington County Central Dispatch and was informed the vehicle had been stolen out of Peru.

Blair wrote he then made contact with Brock and a witness, both of whom reportedly acted surprised when they were informed the SUV was reported as stolen. Both Brock and the witness agreed to speak with Blair, and they were transported to the Huntington City Police Annex for questioning.

Blair wrote he spoke with the witness first, who reportedly stated the identified truck is one he drives. The witness reportedly stated he had been driving a group of friends and Brock to Fort Wayne the previous night and upon returning, Brock had asked him to take him to a friend’s to get some marijuana. Upon being told there had been a burglary in the area Brock was dropped off, the witness reportedly denied involvement and stated he was unaware of Brock committing a burglary, as it was dark and he did not see Brock carrying anything.

The witness reportedly said that after returning to his residence, Brock went to his SUV before going inside. 

During an inventory of the vehicle, it was noted there was a bucket full of change in the front seat, which was later positively identified by the female victim as her child’s.

Blair wrote he then spoke with Brock, who reportedly began by stating he purchased the SUV in Indianapolis and did not know it had been stolen. Brock was noted to immediately want to talk about the burglary, but Blair wrote he wanted to speak about the night leading up to it first. 

“Mr. Brock stated he (and the group he was with) were in Fort Wayne for a couple hours and then drove back to Huntington. Mr. Brock stated they arrived back to the (witness’s residence) between 11 p.m. and midnight. Mr. Brock stated they stayed inside the rest of the night. Mr. Brock stated he played video games with (the witness) and they all listened to music before going to sleep,” Blair wrote.

Brock then reportedly changed his story, stating the witness dropped him off at a gas station in the early morning hours before going to meet with the victims to purchase marijuana. 

“I pointed out to Mr. Brock ten minutes ago he stated he never left (the witness’s residence) and he claimed short term memory loss due to a head injury he sustained in a car accident. I told Mr. Brock the change bucket wasn’t his and it was stolen and he quickly stated Devan gave that to him,” Blair wrote.

Brock then reportedly proceeded to change his story multiple times, stating the witness wanted him to break into residence and the witness had placed the bucket of change in the SUV. After speaking with a detective, Matt Feller of the Peru Police Department, Brock reportedly admitted to stealing the SUV and the burglarly.

Brock is facing a Level 4 felony of burglary and is being held in the Huntington County Jail on a $40,000 bond. An initial hearing has been set in his case for April 16.