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