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The Catawba County Sheriff's Office is investigating break-ins to residences in Vale. Several firearms were among the items stolen.

On March 12 at shortly before 1 p.m., Catawba County Communications received a call about the breaking and entering to a residence located at 6751 West 10 NC Highway in Vale. The caller was able to give a vehicle description for the suspect vehicle.

On the same date shortly before 9 p.m., Catawba County Communications received a call about someone trespassing at 3144 Old Shelby Road in Vale. Deputies made contact with the trespassing subject and observed that the vehicle the subject was driving matched the vehicle description given earlier in the day at the break-in on Highway 10.

The suspect admitted to Deputies that he had broken into several homes, as well as having stolen firearms in his vehicle. Deputies recovered eight stolen firearms, as well as other stolen property taken from residences in Catawba County.

Catawba County Investigators have worked to identify the stolen property and return various items to the rightful owners. The investigation is continuing and charges in this case are pending. The suspect was not named in the news release issued this afternoon (March 20).

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 12:29

Two Suspects Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

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33-year-old Jeremy Curtis Setzer of Norwood Street in Lenoir and 22-year-old Destinee Kay Smith of 1st Avenue in Hickory were arrested by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (March 19). They were each charged with two felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine and one felony count each of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place for a controlled substance.

Both Setzer and Smith were placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center. Bond for Setzer was set at $100,000, secured, and bond for Smith was set at $30,000, secured. Both were scheduled to appear in District Court today.

47-year-old Christopher Matthew Hambrick of Floral Drive in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (March 19) by Hickory Police Officers on one felony count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Hambrick was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond. A District Court Appearance was scheduled today.

23-year-old Austin Lane Ervin of Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls was arrested yesterday (March 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm. Ervin was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center with bond set at $50,000, secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 12:10

Sherrills Ford Woman Faces Felony Meth Charge

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34-year-old Michell Nicole Alexander of Island Points Road in Sherrills Ford was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:10 yesterday afternoon (March 19) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Alexander was arrested after Officers responded to reports of a suspicious person at the St. Stephens Mobile Home Park on 24th Street N.E. Officers located Michell Nicole Alexander, who allegedly had one gram of methamphetamine concealed in her bra. She was also in possession of drug paraphernalia.

Alexander was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $7,500, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 11:25

Conover Man Jailed for Felony Probation Violation

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30-year-old Stephen Aaron "Little Shaggy" Hedrick of Largo Court in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (March 20) for a felony probation violation. Hedrick is on probation as he serves an 18-month suspended sentence following a January 2019 felony conviction in Catawba County for possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He had been listed as an absconder from probation.

Hedrick was taken into custody without incident at about 3:35 a.m. today at a convenience store on Springs Road N.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $25,000, secured. An appearance in District Court is coming up on March 25 in Newton.

41-year-old Shannon Richard Aughenbaugh of Pineburr Avenue S.W. in Valdese was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:15 last night on felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of a firearm, plus misdemeanor counts for a concealed handgun permit violation and resisting, delaying, or obstructing a public officer. In addition, he was served with outstanding felony warrants from January 7 of this year on bills of indictment for breaking & entering, larceny, and possession of stolen goods. He was also charged as an habitual felon.

Aughenbaugh was arrested following a traffic stop at the intersection of 12th Avenue N.E. and 21st Street N.E. During the incident, Officers found 24 grams of marijuana and a handgun.

Following his arrest, Aughenbaugh was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $52,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton with a Superior Court date coming up on April 29.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 10:00

Sherrills Ford Man Charged with Secret Peeping

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50-year-old Darren Rodney Astles of Sherrills Ford has been arrested by Hickory Police on one count each of peeping using a photographic imaging device and possession of a photographic image obtained from peeping.

On Wednesday, March 13, Hickory Police took a report regarding a possible recording device that was found at Planet Fitness on 2nd Street N.E. The victim reported finding a recording device in the tanning area at Planet Fitness on March 12.

During the investigation, H.P.D. Investigators identified Darren Rodney Astles as the owner of the device. Warrants were issued and Astles was taken into custody yesterday (March 19).

The suspect was given a $12,000 secured bond. He was not listed as an inmate in Catawba County as of this morning (March 20). Astles was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551 or contact Inv. Darren Bailey directly at 828-261-2687 or dbailey@hickorync.gov.

29-year-old Jimmy Allen Nelson of Pony Court in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (March 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers on three felony counts of failure to appear in court. Nelson was taken to Caldwell County Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date was scheduled for April 1 and a District Court date was scheduled for May 15.

Two different preliminary designs by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to improve a sharp-angle intersection on U.S. 64/N.C. 18 in Gamewell will be available at a public meeting tomorrow (March 21).

NCDOT engineers are developing designs to improve safety at the intersection of Calico Road and U.S. 64/N.C. 18 and the project team would like public feedback on the two different options. This project is supported by the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization for funding after NCDOT initiated the project.

The first option is a roundabout that allows for a continuous flow of traffic while increasing safety by reducing the possibility of T-bone and head-on collisions. The second option creates two new intersections — one north of the highway and one to the south — with stop signs for traffic from Calico Road and turn lanes for traffic turning onto the secondary road.

Additional information and a map of proposed improvements are available at the NCDOT public meetings website. Draft designs of the two plan concepts will be presented at the public meeting from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday at Gamewell Elementary School, 2904 Morganton Boulevard SW, in Lenoir.

NCDOT representatives will be available to explain the design, answer question and listen to comments. The public may submit comments and questions at the meeting, or via phone or email or mail until April 4. For further information or to submit comments, contact Three Oaks Engineering Senior Transportation Planning Engineer Karen B. Taylor at karen.taylor@threeoaksengineering.com or 919-247-5683 or 324 Blackwell Street, Suite 1200, Durham, North Carolina 27701.

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The individuals depicted have been arrested but not convicted at the time of story postings. This information does not infer or imply guilt of any actions or activity other than their arrest. We make no warranty or guaranty as to the accuracy of this data.

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