Md. Police Catch Celebrity Burglar
Nov. 18, 1998
BALTIMORE (AP) _ Police have caught up with a man accused of stealing sterling silver worth millions of dollars from celebrities including rocker Bruce Springsteen in years of careful burglaries.
Taking only sterling silver items, Blane Nordahl made more than 100 burglary stops during a 14-state spree that stretched from sportscaster Curt Gowdy's house in Florida to Springsteen's place in New Jersey to Ivana Trump's home in Greenwich, Conn., prosecutors contend.
``He's the burglar to the stars,'' Robert Honecker, a prosecutor in Monmouth County, N.J., told The Philadelphia Inquirer for an article today.
Baltimore County authorities were expected to charge Nordahl, 36, today with possessing instruments of a crime, and police were preparing charges for 12 burglaries.
Police say Nordahl had burglary tools in his red Cadillac when he was arrested Tuesday. He had been free on bail pending sentencing in a federal plea agreement in connection with crimes from Florida to Wisconsin.
Police in Maryland were tipped to Nordahl's presence by authorities in Camden County, N.J., where he had been living and was under surveillance for alleged burglaries there.
In Baltimore, Nordahl is suspected of helping himself since July to more than $700,000 in handmade silver candelabra, goblets and serving trays.
``He knew the difference between silver-plated and solid silver,'' said police Lt. Jay Fisher. ``He is a true professional. You just don't find a burglar like this every day.''
Not once did the burglar leave a fingerprint. No one woke up as window panes were pried out of frames and the burglar wiggled inside.
Nordahl was last arrested in October 1996 outside a Wal-Mart in Sparta, Wis., on warrants from Greenwich. The far-flung cases were consolidated under federal charges in New York City. Authorities in New York blamed him for $2.3 million in burglaries in 14 states.
As part of a plea agreement, Nordahl had admitted to conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce. He served 20 months in a New York prison and was released June 18.
Now he faces additional federal charges, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Leonard Lato.
Nordahl lawyer Robert Eisler of New Jersey declined comment Tuesday.