More than 30 weapons were taken during a burglary and vandalism of a home owned by a family with deep roots in local law enforcement.
The guns were part of several thousand dollars worth of items stolen from Bruce and Diana Nolting’s home between 2:15 and 5 p.m. Wednesday, Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett said.
The home is on East Enon Road, south of County Road 225N and about a half-mile west of State Road 9.
The weapons, which include several pistols and hunting guns and two semiautomatic
AR-15 rifles, were removed from a locked gun safe, Bruce Nolting said.
The Noltings are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the burglary.
“Whether I get three guns back or one back, it means a lot to me to get these people behind bars, so they don’t do this to somebody else,” he said.
Besides the guns, burglars also took jewelry, televisions, including a 55-inch flat-screen Samsung, power tools, a string trimmer, chain saw, pressure washer and an undisclosed amount of cash, sheriff’s department lead detective Jason Lancaster said.
“Our house was totally turned upside down, and there was extensive damage to the interior,” Nolting said.
Gorbett is asking the public for help in finding the burglars.
Lancaster said investigators are seeking witnesses who might have seen two white men in their late 20s to early 30s near the Nolting home Wednesday afternoon.
Detectives are looking for a 6-foot tall suspect with a medium build who was last seen wearing a red bandana, Lancaster said. No description was given on the other man, who was only seen sitting in the truck, Lancaster added.
According to descriptions from neighbors, the men were driving a dingy white-colored pickup truck, possibly a late 1970s-model Chevrolet, Lancaster said.
“This description of the vehicle is unique enough that we hope it triggers somebody’s memory,” Gorbett said.
Anyone spotting the truck is asked to contact law enforcement immediately.
One of the weapons stolen was a .38-caliber Colt handgun in a holster that once served as the service weapon for the homeowner’s grandfather, Elmer Nolting, who served as Bartholomew County sheriff in the 1930s and 1940s, Gorbett said.
“To have someone invade your privacy and take something so personal and so valuable to my family, it’s very disturbing,” Nolting said.
Bruce Nolting’s father, Charles Nolting, also served as county sheriff from 1963 to 1970.
The son of the homeowners, Clayton Nolting, is a Columbus Police Department patrolman, Gorbett said.
Evidence suggests that those responsible may have spent more than an hour at the home, the sheriff said.