54-year-old Gary Leonard Scott of Statesville pleaded guilty to felony fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle and was given an active prison term of eight-to-11 years. He was also sentenced as an habitual felon. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Karen Eady-Williams, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, in Catawba Co. Superior Court yesterday (April 5). Judge Eady-Williams also ordered that the defendant pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $19,401.
Scott’s habitual felon status is the result of prior convictions for fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle (July 2010) and indecent liberties (April 2001), both in Iredell County. He was also convicted of larceny in Guilford County in September of 2008.
The defendant took an item from a business at Valley Hills Mall on October 8, 2016 and sped away from the location along U.S. Highway 70, leading a Hickory Police Officer on a chase after the theft was reported.
The chase was called off, and Scott eventually made his way to Robinson Road where he collided head-on with another vehicle, causing significant injuries to three people and to himself. The victims were hospitalized as a result of their injuries.
Sgt. Dustin Nowatka investigated the case for Hickory Police Department. Assistant District Attorney Scott Lippert handled the prosecution for the State.
49-year-old John Alan Thomas of Murphy Street in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (April 5) on one felony count of larceny of a motor vehicle.
He was arrested in connection to an incident Tuesday (April 3) when Hickory Police responded to business on Highway 321 N.W. in reference to a stolen vehicle. The victim told Officers that a vehicle was stolen from the parking lot at the business. Officers identified the suspect as John Alan Thomas and warrants for his arrest were issued.
Thomas was taken into custody without incident at about 2:10 a.m. today at exit 128 on I-40. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he was held without bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Newton.
35-year-old Darren Anthony Brown of Childers Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 10:10 a.m. yesterday (April 4) on one felony count of breaking & entering and one misdemeanor count of simple assault on a handicapped person. The warrants for his arrest were issued on March 31 in Lincoln County.
Brown was taken into custody without incident at an elementary school on 32nd Street S.W. in Hickory. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. He has since been released. A District Court appearance was scheduled tomorrow in Lincolnton.
According to a statement released today (April 5) by the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office, the theft of county road signs dramatically increased during the Easter Holiday week with 12 signs reported stolen. The thefts occurred in the Reepsville and Highway 182 areas in western Lincoln County.
It costs taxpayers about $200 each to replace a sign. County road sign thefts cost the county about $25,000 a year. The theft of signs also creates problems for emergency responders attempting to provide service on roads or streets with missing signs. Stolen signs can cause a slow response time and endanger lives.
Homeowners should report any suspicious activity. Citizens who live on streets with missing signs should contact the County Addressing Office at 704-736-2021.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrests of individuals involved in the theft or possession of county road or street signs. Call Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909, or call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or Lincoln County Communications at 704-735-8202.
The 16th Annual N.C. Railroad Expo will be held Saturday, April 7, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. Approximately 275 tables full of railroad lanterns, timetables, books and models of all scales will be on display.
Admission is only $5 for adults. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show is sponsored by the Alexander Chapter of the National Railway Historical Association and all proceeds from the show will benefit the S.E. Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum, located at the Newton Depot. The Alexander Chapter was formed in 1979 and is the oldest railroad preservation organization in western North Carolina.
In addition to vendors selling model trains, books, videos and memorabilia, the show will feature five operating layouts from across North Carolina, a restored railroad baggage wagon and a "Railroad Antiques Roadshow" table where the public can bring railway-related items and have them appraised by experts.
For more information, call 828-527-6520 or visit tarheelpress.com/Trainshow.
Contractors plan to start paving Powell Road in Lenoir today (April 5), from the greenway crossing north to Wilmore Street N.E. The project should be finished in a few days. Once Powell Road is completed, the crew plans to pave Lynview Street between Hawthorne Drive N.E. and Hemlock Drive N.E.
The contractor finished paving North Main Street yesterday and the centerline may be striped by the weekend; however, the contractor damaged a section of the new curb at the intersection of North Main Street and Creekway Drive. The contractor will be responsible for repairs to the curb.
32-year-old Justin Lee Calloway of Moss Lane in Granite Falls was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (April 4) for two felony probation violations. Calloway is on probation as he serves a 30-month suspended sentence following a September 2017 conviction in Caldwell County on three felony counts of credit card theft.
Following his arrest yesterday, Calloway was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $100,000, secured. He has a Superior Court date in Lenoir coming up on April 23 for I.D. theft and financial card theft. Calloway will also appear in Superior Court in Newton on April 30 for felony possession of methamphetamine.
52-year-old Robert Allen Morse of Pensacola, Florida was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (April 4) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Morse is wanted in Florida for a parole violation.
Following his arrest, Morse was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center where he is being held without bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Lenoir.
Lenoir Police Department K9s Axel, Mato and Cerik have received bullet and stab protective vests, thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vests were sponsored by an anonymous donor and embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love – Trained to Serve – Loyal Always”.
Lenoir Police K9s performed 16 tracks last year, leading to six apprehensions. They also completed 20 building searches and 207 narcotics searches, leading to the seizure of more than $25,000 in cash and more than $340,000 in narcotics.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, Massachusetts. Learn more at www.vik9s.org.
26-year-old Brandi Lee Hackett of Forest Ridge Drive in Stanley has been arrested by Hickory Police on charges of misdemeanor child abuse, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, simple possession of an unspecified controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hackett was jailed yesterday (April 4) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $30,000, secured. She was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.
The Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office has released more information in the arrest of 30-year-old Kyle Edward Poteat of Elm Street in Morganton, first reported yesterday (April 4) on WHKY. Poteat was charged with felony counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and fleeing to elude arrest. He was also charged with failure to heed a light or siren, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to wear a safety helmet and speeding in excess of 110 MPH in a 65 MPH zone.
Events leading to Poteat’s arrest began on April 3 when Valdese Police reported the theft of a motorcycle in Valdese. The motorcycle was white with green rims. The suspect was not wearing a helmet. The suspect was spotted on the motorcycle after the theft, but he ran from Officers and was not apprehended.
At approximately 5:31 p.m. Tuesday, a Burke County Deputy spotted the subject at the intersection of South Sterling Street and Enola Road in Morganton. The Deputy gave chase with blue lights and siren activated. The suspect traveled on Enola Road, weaving in and out of traffic, reaching speeds of 85 MPH. The suspect turned right onto westbound I-40. He continued to weave in and out of traffic, utilizing the emergency lane while reaching speeds of 110 MPH.
The chase lead into McDowell County where the suspect took Exit 86 onto Highway 226, onto Fairview Road. He turned right onto Deacon Drive and then turned left onto Burma Road. The motorcycle traveled approximately a mile and a half on Burma Road where the driver suddenly stopped jumped off the motorcycle and laid down on his back. He was taken into custody without further incident.
The driver was identified as Kyle Edward Poteat. Poteat was found to be in possession of a marijuana grinder, a needle and a set of digital scales.
He was placed in the Burke/Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $27,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday with additional court dates coming up on April 16 & 25 and May 11 & 14.
The Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Office were all involved in the pursuit and arrest.
On April 3, Hickory Police responded to a report of an ATM skimmer at the Telco Community Credit Union, 355 Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. A skimmer had been placed inside the ATM’s card slot. The skimmer came out of the ATM with a customer’s card during use. Bank officials have been notified and any customers whose information may have been compromised will be contacted by their financial institution.
Anyone with information should call the Hickory Police Department at 828-261-2626.
When using an ATM or any other device that reads financial card information, citizens are encouraged to gently pull on the card reader to ensure that it is securely affixed to the machine. It should not be loose or detach from the machine.
Additionally, cell phone Blue Tooth technology can be used to detect internal skimmers. Turn on the phone’s Blue Tooth setting. If any devices are detected nearby with a long string of letters and/or numbers, that may be an indication that a skimmer is active.
If any items detach from or come out of the ATM or if anything about the machine appears suspicious, contact the bank that operates the ATM and inform them prior to notifying law enforcement. If the bank confirms that there is a possible skimmer on the machine, notify law enforcement agency so that the device can be removed and analyzed appropriately.
Authorities in Lincoln County say that 17-year-old Amy Jo Helms, who was reported missing earlier today (April 4), has been found. Ms. Helms had last been seen leaving her residence on the 1,900 block of Noles Circle around 4 p.m. Monday (April 2). Detective Justin Link located Ms. Helms in Shelby and confirmed that she returned home on Wednesday afternoon.
A statement from the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office thanked everyone who assisted in locating the teen.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating 17-year-old Amy Jo Helms. Ms. Helms was last seen leaving her residence on the 1,900 block of Noles Circle around 4 p.m. Monday (April 2). Her direction of travel is unknown.
She was last seen driving her father’s black 2002 Ford Mustang with white stripes on both doors. The vehicle has a North Carolina license plate, TPR1620.
Ms. Helms is described as a white female with shoulder-length, curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She is 5’6” tall and weighs 280 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and brown boots. Ms. Helms has tattoos on her right forearm and left hand.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Amy Jo Helms should call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or Lincoln County Communications at 704-735-8202.