The Great Bend Police Department announced Monday officers in Texas have made an arrest in a connection with a string of thefts spanning multiple states, including a break-in at a Great Bend business in October.
According to the Bedford, Texas, Police Department, 23-year-old Nicholas Garrison was arrested on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and no driver’s license following a traffic stop during the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 21, by BPD officers. Garrison was also charged with burglary, felony theft and criminal damage to property. He was identified as a suspect in a string of thefts spanning jurisdictions in multiple states, including a burglary that occurred at Mind Sculpt Games in Great Bend on the night of Oct. 13-14.
According to GBPD reports, at approximately 2:54 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, GBPD officers discovered broken glass from the front door of Mind Sculpt Games at 4908 10th St. While investigating, officers discovered several glass cases inside the building had been broken and it appeared items from the cases was missing.
Police say security videos showed a male breaking the glass front door and entering the store at shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The subject broke several glass cases inside of the store and removed items from the cases and shelves. The subject entered and exited the store several times with merchandise, before finally leaving the area at approximately 12:22 a.m. Oct. 14, according to the GBPD.
The owners of Mind Sculpt Games had been in contact with other business owners since this incident occurred, and investigators learned similar stores in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas had all been victims of similar incidents. Further investigation by multiple agencies yielded information that connected the suspect to these surrounding incidents between Sept. 21 and Oct. 14.
With assistance from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Tulsa Police Department, and the Van Alstyen (Texas) Police Department, the suspect in these incidents was identified as Garrison, and investigators determined he was driving a red 2012 Chevy Cruze.
This information led to Garrison being stopped in the red Chevy Cruze in Bedford, Texas, and placed under arrest on Oct. 21. Further investigation turned up numerous items of suspected stolen property, including sports trading cards, rare merchandise and gaming items, all of which were recovered as evidence. GBPD Chief Steve Haulmark said he believed the bulk of the items were recovered from the vehicle at the time of Garrison’s arrest. All suspected stolen property items were connected back to the multi-state investigation, with the total loss in damages and property believed to exceed $200,000 combined among all stores involved.
Other agencies assisting in the investigation included the McPherson (Kan.) Police Department, Columbia (Mo.) Police Department, St. Louis (Mo.) Police Department, Crestwood (Mo.) Police Department and Troy (Ill.) Police Department.
Haulmark said he was grateful for the cooperative effort of the multiple law enforcement agencies involved in the case.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with any information in reference to this case is urged to contact the GBPD by calling 620-793-4120 or Crime Stoppers at 620-792-1300.