Suspected NW Indiana BB Shooter in Custody

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Police say the orange pill bottle is where Dennis Ditterline kept the pellets for his gun.

    Porter County, Indiana Authorities are crediting an alert witness for helping them nab a man they believe is responsible for at least 75 BB gun shootings since February 2011.

    Dennis Ditterline, 38, was arrested near his Valparaiso home Wednesday night, authorities said. 

    Investigators said they'd been monitoring his home, followed him as he got in his SUV, witnessed him randomly shooting at passing vehicles, and then arrested him.

    Many of the BB gun shootings happened on Indiana State Road 2 in Valparaiso. The targets were sometimes moving vehicles and other time parked cars. Although there were several reports of property damage as a result of the shootings, no one was injured.

    The break in the case began at a Walmart store in Valparaiso on May 9.

    Surveillance video captured Ditterline making a purchase with a credit card at the store. He then exited the store and once in his vehicle allegedly fired his BB gun at a parked car he believed was unoccupied.

    A man who was actually in the parked car was able to get a partial license plate on the Ditterline's vehicle. Authorities have been monitoring Ditterline since that incident, they said.

    Ditterline is in police custody but charges have not yet been filed. He faces both felony and misdemeanor charges.

    Investigators said Ditterline admitted to the shootings and told them he was unemployed and firing his BB gun as a way to relieve stress.

    The Walmart surveillance video is not being released.

    Authorities have not linked Ditterline to the shootings of school buses in Winfield, Crown Point and Merrillville in December.

    At least three people were shot will driving through Northwest Indiana last September.  And in 2006, numerous drivers reported having their windows and windshields shattered as they drove along Cline Avenue.

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