Crime spoiler at the age of 11One observant neighbor ended a series of daylight burglaries in Superior’s East End this summer. By taking notice of a stranger and the car he was in, Tyler Nystrom made a difference.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
One observant neighbor ended a series of daylight burglaries in Superior’s East End this summer. By taking notice of a stranger and the car he was in, Tyler Nystrom made a difference.
“Without Tyler’s description, we probably never would have solved the crimes,” said Superior Police Detective Jack Curphy.
It’s not surprising that Mayor Dave Ross singled Tyler Nystrom out for citizen recognition Tuesday night.
What may come as a shock is the fact that the recipient is in sixth grade.
“It’s amazing for an 11-year-old boy to know so much ... pay that attention to detail,” Curphy said.
Jan Trester, one of the burglary victims, agreed.
“You’ve got to admit Tyler did a good job,” she said.
The mayor said the boy’s accomplishments stood out.
“He really went above and beyond,” Ross said. “He took notice of what was happening in his neighborhood,” and stepped forward to help.
“It’s quite a little story,” Ross said.
Tyler and his sister, 8-year-old Rylee, were home watching TV when they saw a stranger park in front of their house on July 7. The bald man with tattoos on his arms walked up, knocked on their door and rang the doorbell a few times. The children, wary of strangers, didn’t answer the door.
“All of a sudden he just left,” said Tyler, now 12. “We didn’t know where he went.”
But when the boy looked over at his neighbor, Trester’s, house he saw the door was open. As Tyler watched, the man exited Trester’s home carrying a pillowcase and talking on a cell phone. He got into the car and drove away. The children called their mother, Kelly, who hurried home and called the police.
“I tried to give them my best description,” Tyler said. He remembered the car was green except for one white door. He recalled the bald man’s build and tattoos.
“He had it right down to a T,” Trester said.
The next day, Curphy saw the car at a local gas station. Although he was off duty, he tailed it until a squad car stopped the driver, James Paulley. A search of the car turned up items taken from Trester’s residence and from a Central Park burglary as well as methamphetamine and a loaded gun, according to police reports.
Paulley “was all packed up,” Curphy said, and was in the process of leaving the area when he was stopped.
Now the Duluth man faces five felony charges in Douglas County Court, including two counts of burglary. Many items were returned to the victims. And, Curphy said, neighborhood fears were put to rest.
Tyler likes to play sports, read and talk with friends. He dreams of becoming a professional hockey or baseball player and is currently focused on playing right wing.
Good citizenship, he said, means “to do something for your city and to help out.”
The sixth-grader admits he doesn’t always notice details. But that summer day, despite being scared, he did.
“I was paying attention,” Tyler said. “I wanted to know what he was up to.”
Then he shared that crucial information with police.
“He’s a very brave, courageous boy,” Curphy said, and he deserves to be recognized.
“What he did was outstanding.”