News and Tribune

March 26, 2014

New Albany residents detain suspect who is later arrested for car break-ins

Incident happened in Southern Estates subdivision


NEW ALBANY — Several residents of Southern Estates took the law into their own hands Monday, and in doing so helped apprehend a suspected thief.

The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department was called to the 3000 block of Plantation Drive around 6 a.m. Monday in reference to several homeowners detaining a suspect who was allegedly caught attempting to steal from a mailbox and car. When officers arrived, five people were standing around a red Ford Ranger parked on the street.

The truck’s owner, Lawrence “Chase” Nolot, 21, Harrison County, was arrested and charged with theft and public intoxication and is currently in the Floyd County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said officers received a call from a homeowner trying to detain Nolot. The man said he came out from his home and saw his son’s vehicle door open and a strong odor of cigarette smoke in the area. Mills said the homeowner decided to look around the neighborhood and spotted the suspect looking in a mailbox and confronted him. That is when he ran to his vehicle in an attempt to flee, Mills said. Other homeowners came out and were able to get the key out of the ignition and detain Nolot, using physical force, until officers arrived.

“Normally we don’t recommend apprehending someone without proper training. But it was a gut reaction. I probably would have done the same thing,” Mills said. “We appreciate the help, but that could have gone south. He could have driven over someone.”

Nolot was found in possession with several items including money, GPS devices, knives, cigarettes and cigarette lighters. Mills said the investigation is ongoing since there have been several car break-ins in other neighborhoods along Charlestown Road.

“There have been around 25 to 30 car break-ins in the area so we will be contacting Clark County and Clarksville. There are a lot of different jurisdictions that come together there around County Line Road,” Mills said.

Mills said if residents have items missing, or have had a vehicle broken into in the area, to contact the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department at 812-948-5400. He also encourages everyone to keep vehicles locked, no matter where they reside.