Eight counts of arson, burglary, theft charged in Valley fire

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Devon Radcliff and Curtis Taulbee were charged in Ohio County Circuit Court with eight felony counts on Tuesday, June 7th related to the burglary and arson of Valley Supply Hardware store.

Radcliff, an employee with Valley Suppl and Taulbee were charged with Burglary (Level 5 felony), Conspiracy to Commit Burglary (Level 5 felony), Theft (Level 6 felony), Conspiracy to Commit Theft (Level 6 felony), Burglary Resulting in Bodily Injury (Level 3 felony), Conspiracy to Commit Burglary Resulting in Bodily Injury (Level 3 felony), Arson Resulting in Pecuniary Loss at Least $5,000 (Level 3 felony) and Conspiracy to commit Arson Resulting in Pecuniary Loss at Least $5,000 (Level 3 felony)

The injury related charges were in reference to related illness sustained by firefighter Bobby White related to exhaustion.

The problem cause affidavit recorded that Officer Wayne Siekman was first on the scene of the fire and found the roll-up door open. Fire chief Kevin Armstrong confirmed the door was propped open by a mop ringer. Access to the building was alleged to be by use of keys in the possession of Radcliff.

A break in the case came when a concerned citizen came forward and reported the alleged involvement of Taulbee and Radcliff. During questioning, the probable cause affidavit reports both admitted to burglarizing the business before going back to set it on fire.

The affidavit shows that both 19-year-old men admitted to taking items in a large wheel barrow and took the items to a vehicle in the cemetery across the street.

The two then went back and poured accelerates. It took several attempts, before Radcliff was successful, according to the probable cause affidavit submitted by investigator Christopher M. Broderick.

The stolen property was found in the trunk of Radcliff’s car and in his basement. Items were documented and returned to owners Gary and Judy Copeland.

According to the State Fire Marshall’s Office, monetary loss and damage was estimated at over $1 million. Police say several stolen items of merchandise were also recovered as part of the investigation.

“Arson cases are very difficult investigations, but the State Fire Marshall’s Office and the Indiana State Police worked tirelessly to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion,” said prosecutor Aaron Negangard in a press release. “The owners of the business can now rest easy that the people responsible for this horrific crime have been arrested.”

Radcliff and Taulbee face up to 50 years if convicted on all counts.

Radcliff is being represented by John Watson of Sunman. Taulbee is represented by Leslie Votaw of Lawrenceburg.