Armed robbery: Ardmore man reportedly steals vehicle at gunpoint

Sierra Rains

As an individual was pulling into the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn in Ardmore Thursday morning, a man reportedly opened his passenger door and pointed a firearm at him. 

Ardmore Police Department Capt. Claude Henry said officers were dispatched to the hotel in the 2400 block of Veterans Boulevard at around 10:19 a.m. on Sept. 17 in reference to an armed robbery. 

Through investigation, police learned that the suspect had allegedly gotten into the passenger side of the vehicle and told the victim to back up the car. “The victim got out of the car and started to walk away from the area. The suspect then got into the driver’s seat of the victim’s vehicle and drove away in the vehicle,” Henry said. 

The victim was not injured. After talking with witnesses to the robbery and reviewing surveillance footage at the Red Roof Inn, police identified the suspect as 40-year-old Eric Scott Nelson, of Ardmore. 

Henry said there does not appear to be any type of relationship between the victim and the suspect. The next morning, officers reportedly located the stolen vehicle at the Walmart Shopping Center in Ardmore. However, the vehicle was unoccupied. 

“We then released information to surrounding agencies in reference to Eric Scott Nelson being the suspect in the robbery and over the weekend Mr. Nelson was seen at a casino in Wilson,” Henry said. 

Nelson was taken into custody at the casino and transported to the Carter County jail, where he was booked in for the alleged armed robbery. Charges have been sent to the district attorney’s office and are pending review. Henry said Ardmore police have had several run-ins with Nelson before. 

“We have dealt with Mr. Nelson on several occasions in the past,” Henry said. “Most of those cases involved possession or possession with the intent to distribute drugs.”

The Ardmore area has seen a bit of an increase in auto thefts. However, after an investigation into the thefts, Henry said police were able to identify a group of juvenile suspects and take them into custody. Since then, the thefts have been down and this incident is likely unrelated. 

“We’ve seen a little bit of a rash of them, but since we’ve completed those investigations and we’ve gotten those subjects off the street it appears that they’ve gone down,” Henry said. 

Individuals should remember to be aware of their surroundings and keep their car doors locked at all times in order to stay safe, Henry said. 

“People just need to be more aware whenever they’re out in public,” Henry said. “It’s easy to be distracted by cell phones and things of that nature, just making sure that you still have a good understanding of your surroundings is important.”