‘Lawn Mower Bandit’ indicted on a dozen charges

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By Staff

A Bardstown man suspected in at least a dozen local burglaries was indicted March 7 by a Nelson grand jury.

William Kevin Ballard, 46, was indicted on 11 counts of third-degree burglary and one count of theft by unlawful taking under $500.

According to the indictment, sometime between Jan. 1, 2012, and Feb. 6, 2012, Ballard allegedly entered the garages at 11 residences and stole a ladder at a 12th location.

Ballard’s alleged actions have led police to dub him “The Lawn Mower Bandit.” Police have said Ballard could be responsible for at least 20 burglaries in and around Bardstown. Stolen items allegedly discovered in Ballard’s house ranged from lawn mowers and tool boxes to tackle boxes, pressure washers and fishing poles.

Ballard was arrested Feb. 1 after allegedly being spotted trying to steal tackle boxes from a Barberry Lane garage around 5:50 a.m.

“(Ballard) was coming out of his garage as (the homeowner) was coming out of his house,” Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said when Ballard was first arrested.

According to a report from Officer Dave Culler,  Ballard was allegedly carrying two tackle boxes worth about $400, and asked the homeowner, “How’s it going?” before the homeowner took a swing at him. Ballard then allegedly dropped the tackle boxes and ran to his car, but the homeowner was able to provide a description of the man and a license plate number.

Culler and Lt. Chris Brandon were able to identify Ballard by his license plate number and went to his residence on Fern Lea Circle, McCubbin said. There, the homeowner positively identified Ballard and he was arrested about 6:20 a.m., according to Culler’s report.

But when Bardstown Police Detectives Lynn Davis, Barbara Roby and Chris Smith visited Ballard’s house later that morning, they reportedly discovered much more after Ballard’s wife let them in. At least nine lawn mowers, about 19 tool boxes and 10 tackle boxes, pressure washers, weed eaters, fishing poles, air compressors — even a taxidermy raccoon and fish, were allegedly found in the home.

Ballard allegedly cooperated with police during the investigation showing police residences where he allegedly stole items during his month-long burglary spree.

While some stolen items have been claimed by their owners, others have not. Police suspect people may not know items have been stolen from their garages yet.

Ballard’s bail was set at $25,000 cash only, plus conditions.

His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. March 22.

 The indictment of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.