Fugitive wanted on multiple Carroll County charges is jailed
A man featured on "America's Most Wanted" and sought in connection with the abduction of an elderly Eureka Springs area couple was arrested Monday in Oklahoma after allegedly kidnapping a Kansas couple, according to Benton County Sheriff's Office Captain Mike Sydoriak.
Larry Raifsnider, 39, and his brother, Edward Raifsnider, were the chief suspects in the October 2003 robbery of James and Margaret Noury of Eureka Springs and Lonnie and Mary Dart of Garfield.
Larry Raifsnider is also wanted for questioning by Carroll County Sheriff's Office investigators after he was positively identified as passing a check stolen from Ronald Ward of the Denver community in August 2003.
According to CCSO Investigator Ralph Gordon, Larry Raifsnider is believed to have burned Ward's home after taking checks in an attempt to steal about $100,000.
Through a multi-agency task force, a video monitor at a Eureka Springs bank positively confirmed Raifsnider was the person trying passing Ward's checks, Gordon said.
Edward Raifsnider, Larry Raifsnider's brother, was arrested in Branson, Mo., in August of this year.
According to the Benton County Sheriff's Office, the Nouries were lured by a man who identified himself as Kenneth Chandler to a small mall off of U.S. Highway 62 in Benton County. The man had arranged to meet the couple at the mall at 8:45 a.m. to buy their fifth-wheel camper trailer.
James Noury, 81, said at the time that things at the mall appeared normal, when a man wearing a ski mask and camouflage clothing suddenly appeared and pointed a gun at him, and an accomplice pointed a gun at Margaret Noury.
Mrs. Noury was handcuffed and taken into the mall while one of the gunmen pulled James toward the camper and began to question him about his money and financial status.
"They threatened us with every other breath, and said if we went to the police they would come back and kill us. They said they knew where we lived," James Noury said.
From the moment the Nouries were captured, their eyes were taped over. Mrs. Noury's handcuffs were so tight that she began to bleed.
According to Sydoriak, Larry Raifsnider has admitted to the robbery of both the Nouries and the Darts. The attack on the Darts, the captain said, was by him alone, but Raifsnider claims a cousin assisted in the robbery of the Nouries.
In April of this year, a nationwide manhunt was launched for Larry Raifsnider and his accomplices. The Raifsnider brothers were both federal fugitives.
Larry Raifsnider's criminal history is 98 pages long, and indicates that he and his group have stolen numerous vehicles across the Midwest, as well as having committed fraud and identity theft.
He also had more than a dozen driver's licenses with real names and Social Security numbers. He is reported to be a master of disguise, and his victims have allegedly included persons in Colorado, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas and Pennsylvania..
In September of this year, the search for Larry Raifsnider was featured on Fox TV's show, "America's Most Wanted," after the show interviewed his brother, Edward, who had been captured.
The two brothers are suspected to have combed through auto trader magazines and classifieds, and passed hundreds of checks, with one estimate by authorities that they have passed fake checks to vehicle dealerships, banks and ordinary people selling their cars through ads.
Larry Raifsnider was also listed on the U.S. Marshal's Top 15 wanted list, and on the FBI's most-wanted list.
The task force working on the investigation included U.S. Marshals, the FBI, Benton and Carroll county sheriff's offices, and the U.S. Secret Service.
Gordon expressed pleasure that the Raifsniders are in custody, saying that Larry is very dangerous, and likes to prey on older persons.