Editor’s note: After circulation of the Twin Lakes Report, theft suspect John J. Nolan Jr. waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Kenosha County Circuit Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges below. The Report will have more on his court appearance in the June 1 print edition.

Man allegedly used alias to squat at airport

By Jason Arndt

John J. Nolan Jr.

Kenosha County investigators said a Missouri man stole a cache of items and used an alias to stash them inside a hangar at Westosha Airport, where he allegedly squatted for several months.

John J. Nolan Jr., 63, of Adrian, has been held in Kenosha County Jail since May 12 when deputies found him trying to avoid detection at the airport.

“He was located on the roof of the hangar in what appears to be an attempt to escape the scene where authorities were,” said Sgt. Mark Malecki of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. “He was renting the hangar under the name Sean Brosnan.”

Nolan, who has a federal warrant for his arrest on unrelated charges, faces four felony counts of receiving stolen property, according to the criminal complaint.

Of the four charges, two were for items greater than $10,000, one was between $5,000 and $10,000, and another valued between $2,500 and $5,000.

A report of a stolen vehicle in the Village of Bristol sparked the investigation on May 12, the complaint states.

On that date, at around 9:30 a.m., authorities responded to the 22100 block of 116th Street, where man reported his 1985 Chevrolet Silverado as stolen.

The Silverado valued at about $10,000 was later found by the victim’s friend parked outside one of the hangars at Westosha Airport, 32520 116th Ave., shortly before 3 p.m.

When investigators arrived, according to the complaint, they discovered the truck matching the description of the stolen vehicle.

“Directly behind the truck, he observed a flatbed trailer bearing an Illinois registration which was attached to another pick-up truck,” the complaint states.

The complaint alleges Nolan attempted to conceal the theft by affixing a stolen license plate belonging to a vehicle from Illinois.

The Silverado was later matched using the vehicle identification number, the complaint contends.

A sheriff’s detective, according to the complaint, found a link between the theft of the Silverado and earlier stolen vehicle reports in Kenosha County.

“He was assigned to investigate a number of stolen vehicle complaints that have been coming in from around the county in recent months,” the complaint states. “He reports that during many of these thefts, trucks were stolen and then used to steal trailers.”

Suspect built a room
The same detective, meanwhile, spoke the Westosha Airport caretaker, who told him and other investigators the hangar was rented to “Sean Brosnan” from Pell Lake.

A day earlier, the complaint states, the property manager attempted to confront Nolan, who was delinquent on his rent.

The property manager told authorities he found a newly constructed room and responded by calling Nolan out from inside.

After the manager ordered Nolan to leave, he went to his supervisors, who looked to evict him.

Search warrant issued
The detective, meanwhile, recalled a report made by the U.S. Secret Service last August, when federal authorities alerted them Nolan had been using the name Sean Brosnan to rent storage units in the area.

Authorities then secured a search warrant for the property, where they found Nolan attempting to avoid arrest by climbing atop of a trailer, the complaint contends.

After Nolan was arrested without incident, authorities uncovered a cache of other items, including rims for tires, power tools, tires, vehicle parts and actual vehicles.

Notable items included two vehicles stolen in Spring Grove, Ill, a white Haulmark trailer, and a 1923 maroon Ford Model T.

Additionally, investigators found a black 1940 Chevy business sedan, which had been reported stolen from Richmond, Ill.

The complaint contends Nolan, who agreed to show authorities other items inside the hangar, admitted to possessing the stolen items “but that he would not admit to stealing them.”

Authorities also recovered two dogs and a bird. According to Malecki, the animals were turned over to local animal shelters for proper care.

Nolan, originally held on $50,000 cash bond May 16, had his bond reduced to $10,000 during his initial hearing.

He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Friday in Kenosha County Circuit Court.


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