SOUTHINGTON - A New Britain woman has been accused of stealing two guitars from a Southington man who is disabled.
Barbara Nolan, 54, served as a personal care attendant for the man when she allegedly stole the electric guitars - valued at $1,500 - sometime over the summer and sold them at a local music store, according to the arrest warrant. She was charged this month with one count of fourth-degree larceny and appeared in Bristol Superior Court earlier in the week. Her case was continued to Jan. 19 for a plea.
According to the arrest warrant, a Southington man who is paralyzed from the waist down realized over the summer that a number of his belongings had been going missing. After noticing two electric guitars were gone, the man reported the theft to police on Sept. 28.
The only person the disabled man could finger as a suspect was Nolan, as he had hired her as a personal care attendant because he needs help for his paralysis. During the investigation, police responded to the Music Shop, at 405 Queen St., on an unrelated call. While there, officers discovered Nolan had sold two guitars that were identical to the ones reported missing.
On Oct. 21, police again spoke to the complainant, and he told them Nolan had returned his guitars and asked that he not press charges, according to the warrant.
Upon speaking to an employee at the Music Shop, he confirmed that Nolan had sold the guitars to the store, saying they had belonged to her deceased brother, the warrant said. At a later date, she returned to the store and bought the instruments back, saying she felt guilty about selling them, according to police.
The complainant said he still wished to press charges, despite getting his guitars back.
Police spoke to Nolan on Oct. 23, and she told investigators she sold the guitars because the complainant had asked her to, according to the warrant. Police said Nolan changed her story multiple times, at one point saying she brought the guitars to the shop to have them refurbished.
Police, in the warrant, said they believe Nolan - who is free on a $5,000 non-surety bond - stole the instruments and sold them to the music store, but bought them back after realizing the complainant had gone to police.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.