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.
I applaud the courage and collaboration of those two ladies witnesses and of our sheriff officers for their outstanding work! We honest law abiding residents need to band together against crime and be alert at what is going on in our surroundings and call the sheriff when criminal activity takes place. This nuisance came form Miami.
I don’t understand why the employee left her valuables in the car. I’m sure Bealls must provide a safe place in the store.
Nancy N. says
At many retail businesses employees are barred from bringing anything but a clear bag into the store with them, to prevent employee theft. She may have had no choice but to leave it in the car.
John Deer says
This just goes to show how successful drug court is!
Could we raise the bail just a little?? Considering the recent history??
Sandra Reynolds says
My first question to the owner of the car, why would you leave an expensive purse, as well as your wallet in your car? My second question is how in the world did this man know to break into this particular car out of all the others in the lot?
I worked at Wall Mart and would lock my purse in the trunk. Sometimes in retail you have to share lockers
You should be able to leave whatever you want in your car. How dare you guys even question that!!!
So three times in one month, and a long arrest history, how pathetic is our court system. Sure, let him out again so that he can get violent now. Thank you justice!!!
Generally employees have to park a little bit away from the store in order to give customers the best parking spots. Thieves know this and pay attention and, if they see a woman in particular get out of her car with no purse or fanny pack, then there is a good chance that she left valuables in the car, so they check that one out first. Also, thieves watch parking lots at gyms, and other shopping centers, for the same scenario.
My question is why wasn’t the woman driving the car charged? Are we to believe that she’s driving this guy around, didn’t notice him get in the car with a tire iron, wasn’t sure what he did when she stopped in Beall’s parking lot? Not buying it. If she truly didn’t know that she just helped this guy commit a crime, she’s awfully naïve.
And we’re talking about the victim’s conduct why?
Cheese puff says
Fanny packs will rise again!
Then can you all see why is that our Sheriff Department gets overwhelmed with unnecessary work ?
Is like arresting over and over the same dudes again and then in court are let go on bail because for them $$$ is no a problem. I have seeing myself a case in court when one of these drug users, dealers and also runner got free by a juror that believed on his and his crook lawyers lies. The man has a long violent and dui record in this county and others and is free among us again dealing his stuff and bulling our community. I have notice that lately when we law abiding and victimized residents band together and are alert about these criminal activities and unafraid call law enforcement or code enforcement on them we have 90% more success on stopping the criminal activity or making this nuisance element move out of our areas. Put the law in their a…s every time they intent to commit a criminal act and they will go away because they just act like rats! Lets keep alert and vigilant and do not hesitate to call the sheriff when suspicious activity takes place as these deputies do a magnificent investigation work to protect us all! Believe me I speak for my own experience of many years residing in Palm Coast and living the latest bad wave of some of this bad element arrivals. Don’t let yourselves to be intimidated by them. Lets preserve Palm Coast safe and beautiful for all.
@ CAROL I agree that people should be able to leave things in their own cars safely, but unfortunately, we can’t do that because of the thieves in existence and we have to protect ourselves as best as possible.
Leaving things in the trunk does no good because they break into a car a find the trunk button and open it up.
For those who work in retail of offices, etc., why not just carry your license, credit card, money in a fanny pack and wear it?
Yes the same degenerates are being arrested over and over again and I think after a couple of times being arrested, they should not be allowed out of jail until the trial is over and a verdict reached. I don’t understand why they didn’t arrest the woman that was driving either.
Because any bag that we carry in even a fanny pack has to be searched by a manager or security team member, and if one is not available it could take a while for one to free up and search our stuff. Its easier for all of us to just bring keys and phone in… thats why empolyees leave bags in cars.
Not only should the woman be arrested, but DCF should get involved because their were children in the car at the time of this crime. I was at the Publix when this was going on and even heard a child crying and saying they wanted their daddy.
wake up! says
Just put him in jail and keep him there, at least he will have a place to sleep and food to eat so he won’t be breaking into cars to live.