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Mayor Candidate Arrested for Alleged RV Theft


Will Smith, a Democratic candidate for South Bend, Ind., mayor, was arrested this week in connection with a felony theft charge issued in Miami County, Fla.

This story by Caleb Bauer originally appeared in the South Bend Tribune.

The arrest was made without incident, according to St. Joseph County Sheriff William Redman.

Smith was taken to the St. Joseph County Jail, where he is being held for an active warrant from Miami County. The Miami County Sheriff’s Department has been notified that Smith is in custody and arrangements will be made to transport him to Miami County, the sheriff said.

A warrant had been issued for Smith’s arrest related to the alleged theft of an RV.

Smith, whose full name is William Elliot Smith, hasn't yet been arraigned on the charge and is being held on $5,000 bond.

An arrest warrant was issued Monday for Smith for theft of property valued between $750 and $50,000.

If he’s convicted, state law would bar Smith from holding elected office; the deadline to drop out of the May 7 primary race has already passed.

According to documents filed in Miami County Superior Court, Smith is accused of stealing a 2019 Forest River travel trailer on Jan. 27 from RV Dynasty, an RV dealer in Bunker Hill, near Grissom Air Reserve Base. The alleged incident occurred just days before Smith filed as a candidate for South Bend mayor.

Surveillance video caught a black Chevy suburban style vehicle pulling the trailer, valued at $18,700, out of the sales lot, according to a probable cause affidavit. On Feb. 22, police were informed the trailer had been located at a home in Bourbon. The owner of the home told police Smith, a longtime friend from high school, asked if he could park the trailer at the home. The friend said Smith told him he purchased the trailer in Georgia, according to court documents.

The case in Miami County isn’t the only criminal investigation involving Smith.

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