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Grott v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 7, 2015

Jonathan Grott, Sr., Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Appeal from the Porter Superior Court. The Honorable Mary R. Harper, Judge. Cause No. 64D05-1305-FD-4102.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Bryan M. Truitt, Bertig & Associates, LLC, Valparaiso, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, George P. Sherman, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Baker, Judge. Najam, J., and Friedlander, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 778

Baker, Judge.

[¶1] Jonathan Grott appeals his conviction for Auto Theft,[1] a class D felony, claiming that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction. Finding that the evidence is sufficient, we affirm.

Facts

[¶2] On February 11, 2013, Grott rented a vehicle from Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Enterprise) in Valparaiso. Grott signed a written contract, which provided that the vehicle was to be returned on February 13, 2013. At some point, Grott upgraded his rental vehicle to a Cadillac. Grott continued to rent the Cadillac until April 5, 2013. Although no new contract was written, Enterprise kept Grott's credit card on file and continued the rental by authorizing charges on the card every few days for various amounts. At the end of this fifty-three-day period, Grott had accrued charges of $4,997.09.

[¶3] On April 5, 2013, Grott signed a new written contract with Enterprise, which provided that Grott was to return the Cadillac on April 12, 2013. Grott paid Enterprise $719.98. On April 12, 2013, Annie Martin, an employee of Enterprise, emailed Grott, asking him if he planned on keeping the car for another week. If so, Martin indicated that she would have to run a charge on Grott's credit card. Grott responded to the email, questioning why he had been charged the original $4,997.09. In the email, Grott exaggerated the amount, claiming that it was almost $10,000. Martin informed Grott that he had not been charged $10,000, but provided no further explanation for the charges. Grott indicated that he would contact Enterprise's corporate office.

[¶4] On April 15, 2013, Martin again emailed Grott, informing him that she would have to charge his card to continue the rental. Enterprise tried to charge Grott's card later that day, but the charge was declined. The next day, branch manager Robert Smolen emailed Grott, asking that he either return the vehicle or pay Enterprise in full. Smolen indicated that Enterprise may report the vehicle stolen.

[¶5] On April 17, 2013, Grott responded by saying that he would be calling the corporate office to attempt to clear up the payment issue and, if he could not, he

Page 779

would return the car. Smolen thanked him for his response, but did not hear back from Grott that day. On April 18, 2013, area manager Lindsey Sandrick called Grott. Grott agreed to make a $600 payment and to come in the next day and pay another $1,200 to continue the rental. ...


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