Man Arrested After Theft of Vehicle's Lug Nuts
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - An Indiana man was arrested Thursday after an investigation into the theft of lug nuts from a vehicle in the parking lot of Kentucky Oaks Mall.

According to Paducah Police, officers were called about 4:20 pm by security officers at the mall, who gave a description of the vehicle and a man that may have committed the theft. 

The victim, whose name is being withheld, told West Kentucky Star she was shopping at the mall, and when she came back to her car, mall security told her she shouldn't drive it because it was missing lug nuts. She said the front left wheel only had one nut remaining, with seven nuts missing on that side of the vehicle. The victim said another woman at the mall saw the suspect and was able to provide photos of him and a license plate number to security. 

Police were able to spot the suspect's vehicle and pull it over. Officers say a car jack was partially obscured in the back floorboard and five lug nuts were found in the center console. The driver, 44-year-old David J. Stapleton of Anderson, Indiana, was arrested on charges of receiving stolen property, first-degree wanton endangerment and possession of burglary tools. He was also served with a McCracken County bench warrant as a fugitive from Indiana, and on a charge of failure to appear in court. 

Police say their investigation leads them to believe Stapleton was attempting to steal parts for his own vehicle and it was an isolated incident. However, they encouraged anyone who was parked at the mall on Thursday afternoon to check their vehicle's lug nuts. 

The victim, who received assistance so she could once again drive the car, told West Kentucky Star she's glad that others were willing to help notify her and catch the suspect. She said it's scary that things like this are happening, and everyone should be careful. 

Published 04:53 PM, Friday Aug. 09, 2019
Updated 08:43 PM, Saturday Aug. 10, 2019

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