Wednesday August 28 2013

– Even before a thief carefully removed a window pane from a mansion here one rainy June night and slipped away with a 1734 silver mug that had belonged to King George II, it was clear to detectives that a meticulous thief with a singular obsession was stealing the great silver pieces of the Old South.
For months, exquisite sterling silver collections had been disappearing, taken in the dead of night from historic homes in Charleston, South Carolina, and the wealthy enclaves of Belle Meade, Tennessee.
And nothing else was touched.
The police in different states did not connect the thefts, some of which initially went unnoticed by the owners.
But as the burglaries piled up, a retired detective watching reports on the internet recognised a familiar pattern and contacted Atlanta detectives, and early on Monday, outside an apartment building in the tiny Florida town of Hilliard, the police arrested Blane Nordahl, the man they believe is connected not only to the recent Southern silver burglaries but also to 30 years’ worth of antique silver thefts in several states.
Mr Nordahl’s skill as a thief is so notorious it has earned him his own Wikipedia page and the nickname “burglar to the stars”.
In one of the biggest recent hauls in which Mr Nordahl is a suspect, a thief disabled the alarm at the Cooleemee Plantation House in North Carolina and walked away with silver spoons forged by Paul Revere and a coffee and tea set a slave had buried for safekeeping when Union soldiers were in the area during the Civil War.
Detectives who chased Mr Nordahl, now in his early fifties, for decades say he might ultimately be responsible for more than 500 burglaries worth millions of dollars.
One of a string of girlfriends whom the police persuaded to help them pursue Mr Nordahl said “he would be 80 years old and still running down the street with his cane and a piece of silver in his hand. He is just fascinated with this stuff.”
Mr Nordahl is barely 162 centimetres, of muscular build and able to squeeze through small spaces.
Over the years he developed a fastidious routine, tracking his targets through architectural magazines, in libraries and by scouting rich neighbourhoods.
He learnt to pry the putty from windows and disable alarms, the police say, often stacking moulding from a door neatly nearby or replacing the glass – Kim Severson


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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