Police apprehend alleged lug nut thief

An Indiana man faces charges Thursday after Kentucky Oaks Mall security officers allegedly saw him removing lug nuts from a vehicle on the mall parking lot.

David J. Stapleton, 44, of Anderson, Indiana, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property (less than $500), first-degree wanton endangerment and possession of burglary tools. He was also charged with a McCracken County bench warrant on failure to appear and as a fugitive from justice in Indiana.

Around 4:20 p.m. Thursday, Paducah police officers were called and given a description of a vehicle occupied by a man, who security officers said removed the lug nuts.

Police said Officer Tyson Riley stopped the vehicle on Hinkleville Road, near Coleman Road, and Stapleton was identified as the driver. Riley saw a car jack in the back floorboard and there were five lug nuts located in the center console. "Riley reported that a total of seven lug nuts were taken from a Chevrolet Impala parked at the mall," police said. "One wheel was left with only one lug nut. Mall security alerted the driver so repairs could be made before she left the parking lot."

Police said officers believe Stapleton was trying to steal parts to use on his own vehicle. It's believed to be an "isolated incident," but residents parked at the mall Thursday afternoon are encouraged to check their wheels to ensure the lug nuts are intact.

Stapleton was booked into McCracken County Jail.

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