This Time a Car Break-In, Near Bealls, Is Followed By a Quick Arrest
FlaglerLive | April 1, 2015
In the majority of cases, car break-ins are never solved. A car window is smashed, typically a purse, a wallet or electronic equipment is stolen. But the perpetrator is never found. Tuesday’s incident at Bealls near Winn-Dixie, off Palm Coast Parkway, was different.
It was midafternoon. Several women were at a Subway shop. They saw a gold Kia drive up to a Honda in the parking lot. A man jumped out, smashed a window on the Honda, and got back in the Kia and drove off. They saw a woman driving the car, and one of the witnesses noticed that a taillight on the Kia had tape over it—a combination of details that would soon held a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy locate the Kia and stop its occupants.
The Honda’s owner is a Beall’s employee. Her $200 Michael Kors purse, a Michael Kors wallet also valued at $200 and an inhaler were all stolen, she reported to police, as were credit cards, driver’s license and a $10 bill.
The beak-in was observed at around 2:45 p.m. At about 3 p.m., a deputy spotted a gold Kia at the traffic light on Belle Terre and East Hampton Drive, near the Publix shopping center. A woman was driving, a man was in the passenger seat. When the Kia turned onto Town Center Boulevard, the cop pulled it over.
“Nicholas Leblanc immediately exited the passenger side of the vehicle,” the deputy reported. Leblanc “appeared to be extremely nervous and was pacing around the back side of the vehicle. The driver, Christine Walker, also exited the vehicle at which time I explained to both Nicholas and Christine why I had stopped them.” He described the woman as also “extremely nervous” but cooperative.
Walker told deputies that she’d driven Leblanc to the Winn-Dixie parking lot, where she saw him get out of the vehicle before hearing a loud bang. Leblanc then jumped back in and told her to drive as he dissimulated something beneath his shirt, though she told police she didn’t know what it was. She drove to a location on Rymfire Drive, where Leblanc met up with someone in a black SUV. Walker said he did not get back in the car with anything else, according to his arrest report.
He was found only with a tire iron—under the passenger seat– and a $10 bill. “The tire iron had glass in the lug nut tool and several markings on the shaft of the tool which are consistent with pushing broken glass out of a window,” the police report states.
Two of the women who’d witnessed the incident in the parking lot were driven to the location where Leblanc was stopped. The women positively identified him as the man alleged to have committed the break-in.
Leblanc, 31, a resident of Lake Placid Lane in Palm Coast, has a long arrest record in Flagler, but all on relatively minor charges. Tuesday’s was his third arrest just this month. He was arrested on March 3 on cocaine and drug paraphernalia possession. Two weeks later he was arrested on grand theft charges. He’s faced charges of dealing in stolen property and criminal mischief, burglary, theft from vending machines, fraudulent use of credit cards and drunk driving, but never a charge for a violent crime.
He was booked at the Flagler County jail Tuesday on criminal mischief, burglary and grand theft charges. He remains at the jail on $11,000 bond.