Norris City Police Chief Diana Tharp was notified by White County Dispatch on October 17 that Nobbe and Co., Inc., located at 1400 S. Division Street in Norris City, was reporting an incident of stolen property from the night before.
Nobbe store manager Brian Legg stated that two trucks, one flatbed trailer, John Deere Gators and lawn mowers had been taken. One truck, a Gator and a lawn mower were recovered around 2:00 a.m. the morning of October 17 near Champaign, Ill. on Interstate 57 by ISP Trooper Telford.
Sometime between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and midnight on Tuesday, October 16, it was thought possibly three subjects entered the Nobbe Co. property and got in a 2007 Chevy truck parked on the concrete pad on the north side of the building. The keys were in the truck and the suspect backed it out and hooked it up to a 2014 flatbed trailer. The suspects loaded a 2018 Gator and John Deere zero turn lawn mower on to the trailer. A 2007 International rollback truck was backed up to the loading dock and a 2018 and 2019 Gator were loaded on it. It appears no entry was made into the building.
When assistant shop manager Virgil Hargrave arrived at work on Wednesday, he noticed the front gates broken, bent and pushed inwards. The gates are locked after hours. It is unknown if the gates were pushed open from the outside by a vehicle, or pulled open from inside the property with a chain. The suspects exited the property through the gate. A six foot long chain was found in the lot. A key to a Gator was found in the gravel near the entrance. Another chain was found near the loading dock. ISP CSI responded to the scene and processed it.
Norris City Police Chief Tharp reported that when she spoke with the ISP Tropper Telford, he said he observed the truck pulling the flatbed trailer following the International roll back truck traveling northbound on Interstate 57 near Hwy. 74. He attempted to stop the truck and trailer for suspicion of DUI. Both the truck and the International truck drove off the roadway with the International truck nearly hitting a sign, but it regained control and continued northbound on the interstate. The driver of the truck and trailer bailed out of the vehicle and fled on foot and was not located. Reynolds Towing was requested by ISP and towed the Chevy truck and trailer that was carrying a Gator and lawn mower from the scene.
It has since been discovered that all three trucks were caught on camera driving past Doug’s Food Mart in Norris City at 10:35 p.m. on Tuesday night. The rollback truck was recovered in Chicago on October 23. Two Gators are the only items that have not been recovered. The suspects are still at large.
The estimated value of the two missing Gators is $25,000-$28,000.