From an online Jacksonville newsite, an infamous burglar, who had stolen from celebrities like Ivana Trump, athletes and politicians was arrested in Florida last month. He had been featured on television shows and an article in the New Yorker. The defendant had a flair for the theatrical, even going so far as leaving thousands of dollars behind during burglary jobs, just to taunt the police…
51-year-old Blane Nordahl, the “silver fox” was arrested in Nassau County, Florida on burglary charges from out of state.
His downfall appeared to be his inability to stop his stealing…and the retired detective who tracked him down over 20 years and dozens of burglaries. Now retired, detective Lonnie Mason firste dealt with the “silver fox” on the east coast in the 1980s. Even after the defendant was caught and sent to prison the detective was sure that he would go right back to committing crimes when released.
With that in mind Mr. Mason assembled a group of retired detectives and a retired federal marshall. These men all worked on seperate cases involving the cat burglar Connecticut, Pennslyvania and New Jersey. They began tracking Nordahl, convinced that it was only a matter of time before he went back to theft crimes. The retired detectives watched the defendant go back to his life of crime everytime he was released from jail for his numerous burglary offenses.
Numerous they were. In 1997 after being caught, the “silver fox” admitted to over 140 burglaries. As a result he was sentenced to five years prison in 2000 but was paroled after just over one year. He was sentenced again to two years in prison for additional thefts. Finally, in 2004 he was sentenced to eight years of prison and placed on probation in Florida in 2010.
Once in Florida, the defendant got a driver’s license and moved in with his girlfriend and appeared to be on a good path, even becoming a vice-president of a local pool cleaning company. Behind this exterior, the thief was always planning just one more job…
Nordahl wasn’t always a master thief but his small stature allowed him to slither in places most adults couldn’t fit in. He was also a quick learner, and rarely made the same mistake twice. He would wear gloves to cover his fingerprints and would destroy his shoes he wore during his burglaries to avoid being caught via shoe prints. He would also avoid credit cards, paying only in cash making him hard to track down.
What finally caught him the last time was good old fashioned police work along with the modern computer. The retired detectives, knowing where the defendant lived would scan the internet for reports of burglaries near the defendant’s new home. On a whim they broadened their internet search and found several articles about a series of silver thefts in Georgia. More police work uncovered similarities between these thefts and the M.O. of the “silver fox”.
The detectives contacted law enforcement in several states including South Carolina and Georgia, soon followed by Florida. The law enforcement finally confronted the defendant he took off running and was arrested on the spot. He is currently in custody on Georgia warrants for burglary.