RENSSELAER — Two area men were arrested for theft and possession of drugs after Rensselaer Police Department officers investigated suspicious activity on the 500 block of South College Avenue earlier this month.
According to RPD, Derek Brown, 32, of DeMotte, and Christopher Bonakowski, 42, of Morocco, were charged with possession of cocaine (a Level 4 felony), possession of a narcotic drug, possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a syringe. The last three charges are Level 6 felonies.
Brown also faces two Level 6 charges of theft, while Bonakowski faces a misdemeanor charge of theft. Both face misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and false informing as well.
Police were called to South College Avenue at approximately 4:47 p.m. on May 8 in reference to a possible theft. One of the suspects, who was later identified as Bonakowski, was seen fleeing the area on foot. The other suspect — Brown— was in front of the business near a pickup truck.
Officers advised Brown of the complaint and asked who the person was that fled. Brown told police on multiple occasions that the subject’s name was Chris Jackson and “he has known him for several years.” Stolen property was located hidden by an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot of the business.
While officers spoke to Brown, an attempt was made to locate the second suspect. He was later found several blocks away and brought back to the scene where he was identified as Bonakowski.
Bonakowski initially gave the name and birth date of a relative, police said.
A Jasper County K9 was brought to the scene and it alerted officers to narcotics. A search warrant was completed and officers found drug paraphernalia, hypodermic needles as well as suspected cocaine and heroin.
Both subjects were taken to the Jasper County Jail soon after.
But an investigation spilled over to a hotel near the I-65 interchange in Rensselaer. Police located a trailer Brown had been seen using and a check of the license plate indicated that the trailer was stolen from Urbana, Illinois.
Another search warrant was obtained, this time for the hotel room, and more narcotics and paraphernalia were located by police.
Officers remain in contact with Urbana, Illinois, officers to assist in their investigation into theft.
All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.