Mishawaka man tracks down alleged thief and gets him arrested

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- A man in Mishawaka successfully tracked down the man accused of stealing his wallet this week and got him arrested.

“I just feel like I have a right to find somebody whose committed a crime against me,” says Mitch Sebastian, the victim of the theft.

Sebastian earns a living working at a car dealership, but he spent this week moonlighting as an undercover detective, when he realized someone stole his wallet.

“This guy came in to see about buying a car, and he had used our restroom and sometime in between the time he got here, I left my wallet in the restroom,” recalls Sebastian.

When notifications on Sebastian’s phone said his credit cards were being used at places like Office Depot and a cellphone store, he realized the man had taken it. From there, he followed the spots his card was used, leaving him to Brandon Nusbaum, a repeat offender who’s been arrested for stealing wallets and credit cards. He was even convicted of auto theft in 2019, according to court records.

“I just went on, about two hours of following this guy everywhere he was swiping my cards. I was just five or ten minutes behind every time,” Sebastian says. “In the process of cancelling all my cards, I was on the phone with Capital One and they notified me that my card was being currently used at Olive Garden here in Mishawaka. So I hurried up, went over there, and that’s where I confronted him.”

Sebastian wanted his wallet, and Nusbaum pulled a gun.

“He picked his shirt up and showed me his gun,” recalls Sebastian. “He ran into the bathroom screaming that I was trying to kill him, and calling 9-1-1 himself while he’s flushing all my cards down the toilet.”

Mishawaka Police arrested Nusbaum, who now faces charges for theft and unlawful carrying of a handgun. Mitch still wants his wallet back, and for Nusbaum to get help.

“I asked them several times, I know the police did, what he actually did with my wallet. That was all I cared about because my daughter gave it to me. The rest of the stuff I could do away with, you know, replace. But that wallet, I just couldn’t,” says Sebastian. “It doesn’t matter what the crime is, if somebody keeps doing the same crime over and over and over again, they just haven’t been rehabilitated. He’s probably gotten none of the help he’s probably needed.”

The case is now being handled by the St. Joe County Prosecutor’s Office, and Nusbaum is being held at the St. Joe County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

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