HAZARD – Surveillance video of an alleged burglary on North Main Street helped lead to the capture of a man accused of breaking into an auto repair shop and stealing a car late Tuesday night.
The owner of Master Tech alerted Hazard police to the break-in early Wednesday morning, reporting that the front door had been broken. Det. Paul Campbell responded to the scene, and said he was able to gather evidence at the scene and had a clear idea of what the suspect looked like. A surveillance video captured the man who Campbell identified as 34-year-old Nicholas Salley inside the business during the alleged burglary.
Salley is alleged to have taken three cars during the burglary, two of which were briefly driven but left in the business’s parking lot, and the third was driven to a residence on Lick Branch in the Combs community.
“Every time he gets a vehicle and brings it back, he goes back inside end gets another set of keys and then goes back out and tries another vehicle,” Campbell said.
The first two vehicles, Campbell noted, were in disrepair. The first was driven across the parking lot, while the other was taken from the business and later returned. The third, a 1991 Buick, was apparently drivable.
“I think once he found one that he realized he could make it a pretty good distance in, that’s the one he decided to keep,” Campbell said.
An anonymous tip received Wednesday led police to determine Salley’s location on Lick Branch and who he was with. Upon arriving at the residence, Campbell said they found the Buick and located Salley.
“Once he saw me, he took into the hills which began a foot pursuit,” he said.
Det. Bradley Couch and Chief Minor Allen followed Salley on foot, and Couch later apprehended Salley after a neighbor’s beagle helped lead him to Salley’s location. According to Campbell, the dog began barking at an area of the hillside, and when Det. Couch investigated that area he located Salley lying on the ground.
Salley was arrested at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, and Campbell noted that the Buick has been returned to Master Tech, additional evidence was seized and Salley did confess to the burglary. He is charged with three counts of theft of an automobile, and one count each of third-degree burglary, criminal mischief, second-degree fleeing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Campbell said it appeared that drugs were a motivating factor behind the theft.
“He said he had a bad drug habit, and needed to get some pills,” Campbell said. “He said that several times.”