Louisville man known as ‘gnome bandit’ caught hiding in attic

Louisville man known as ‘gnome bandit’ caught hiding in attic
LMPD arrested Barton Bishop in a home on Winston Avenue off Bardstown Road on Thursday afternoon. (Ellis, Aaron)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The notorious Louisville gnome bandit is back in handcuffs after a second manhunt.

Thursday, Barton Bishop was arrested after falling out of the attic of a home where he was hiding in the Upper Highlands. He was taken into custody at a home on Winston Avenue, off Bardstown Road near Atherton High School.

Louisville Metro Police posted about his arrest on Facebook, saying tips led them to his hiding spot.

LMPD said Bishop was injured when he fell from the attic. They didn’t say how badly hurt he is.

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Before this latest manhunt, Bishop eluded police for weeks this summer. He was accused of stealing from yards and porches in the Highlands.

Dozens of people reported missing gnomes, lawn ornaments, plants and other items, some of which held great sentimental value. The thefts went on for most of June, hitting homes from Gardiner Lane, north to Belknap and Bonnycastle.

Bishop was eventually spotted on a Ring doorbell camera, and identified by police as the man responsible for the multitude of thefts.

Police released footage from a doorbell camera on a home in the Highlands, identifying the suspect as Barton Bishop.
Police released footage from a doorbell camera on a home in the Highlands, identifying the suspect as Barton Bishop. (LMPD)

After a manhunt that lasted more than a month, Bishop was discovered at a campground in Georgia. He was arrested and charged with 67 charges of receiving stolen property. He was extradited back to Louisville to face charges.

He was arraigned on July 24 and given a $5,500 cash bond. Bishop posted that bond and was released.

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Much of the stolen property taken from yards in the Highlands was recovered by LMPD in July, including a cache of gnomes.

These gnomes were among the stolen property recovered by LMPD.
These gnomes were among the stolen property recovered by LMPD. (WAVE 3 News)

On Sept. 18, Bishop was indicted on dozens of theft charges. Court documents indicate Bishop failed to show for his court date and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest on Sept. 24.

That prompted the latest search for the gnome bandit.

Now that he’s back in custody, Bishop will face additional charges for his recent run from the law.

His court date has not yet been set.

LMPD initially thought he was working with another person, because of the weight of some of the items he’s accused of stealing. However, no one else has been named a suspect in the crimes.

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