Chesterton Tribune

Liberty Township resident charged with timber theft

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A Liberty Township resident was booked into the Porter County Jail last week on a charge of theft after the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said that she sold timber from someone else’s property to a lumber company.

Vanessa Celeste Quinton, 28, of 687N 125W, was arrested on that charge at 10:45 a.m. April 5 by a DNR conservation officer, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Conservation Officer Matt Shurr, in May 2011 Quinton signed an $1,800 contract and accepted a check from the Valparaiso lumber company for the sale of timber. Some of the timber purchased by the company came from a neighboring property owner’s land who advised that she “never gave anyone permission to remove trees from her property,” Shurr stated in the affidavit.

After deadline on Tuesday, Shurr told the Chesterton Tribune that Quinton specifically sold seven black walnut trees which “were not hers to sell.”

The trees in question were located on an absentee property owner’s land, which is often the case in incidents of timber theft, Shurr noted. “People come in and log and sometimes the absentee land owner doesn’t find out until months later.”

Theft is a Class D felony punishable by a term of six months to three years.


Posted 4/11/2012