DATE: Thursday, May 22, 2014
SUBJECT: Stolen Firearms Recovered
CONTACT: Sgt. Nathan Sugarman
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Eric Williams

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office has recovered two stolen handguns in the last 24 hours. The guns were discovered in separate unrelated incidents. The first gun was recovered just after 4:00 pm yesterday while a deputy was working grant funded traffic enforcement. Deputy Mike Robinson was monitoring traffic in the area of Baker and Franklin Street when he observed a SUV with a passenger not wearing a seat belt. Deputy Robinson stopped the vehicle for the violation. When the Deputy approached the vehicle, the driver fled on foot. Two other people remained in the vehicle. As deputies ordered the occupants out, a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun was located in plain view in between the driver and front seat passenger. Further investigation revealed the gun was reported stolen from Owensboro, Kentucky.

The driver of the SUV was not apprehended at the time of the stop. He has been identified as CHARLES THOMAS. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (812) 421-6201, or leave an anonymous tip at

The second incident occurred at approximately 2:40 am today. Deputy Brandon Rolley was on patrol in the area of Middle Mt. Vernon Road and Broadway Avenue when he observed a suspicious person near some bushes. When he turned his patrol car around to investigate, the person began to walk away in the opposite direction toward New Bethel Church. Deputy Rolley stopped the individual and later identified him as JOSHUA GAHAGAN. Upon further investigation, deputies located a vehicle in the church lot. The vehicle had been stolen from a nearby address. Upon searching the vehicle, a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and ski mask were found on the front seat. The gun was fully loaded with a bullet in the chamber. The gun had been reported stolen from Evansville two days prior. Gahagan admitted to being in possession of the firearm. He is prohibited from possessing a handgun due to his prior convictions. Gahagan was arrested and taken to the Vanderburgh County Jail.


Charles Michael Thomas, 23 yoa from Evansville.
Charges: Operating a Motor Vehicle while Habitual Traffic Violator as a Class C Felony, Possession of a Handgun by a Violent Felon as a Class B Felony and Possession of Stolen Property as a Class D Felony


Joshua Lawrence Gahagan, 25 yoa from Evansville.
Charges: Auto Theft as a Class D Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon as Class B felony, and False Informing as a Class A Misdemeanor