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A High Shoals man was arrested Monday night after he reportedly broke into an occupied Calloway Road home then left his ID behind. 25-year-old Joshua Ray Murphy of North Lincoln Street in High Shoals is charged with two felony counts of Breaking and Entering a Building, and one felony count each of Larceny after Breaking and Entering, and possession of Stolen Goods.

According to a news release from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to the scene around 6:15 p.m. Monday concerning a break-in to a residence and arrived to find jewelry and other items scattered on a wooden deck leading to the front door of the home.

The homeowner, Rodney Allen Putnam, who is confined to a wheelchair, told deputies that he was at home alone and had unlocked the front door because his wife was due to arrive home. He went into another room and said he heard the door bell ringing but did not answer it. A few minutes later he went toward the front door and saw a man standing in the front bedroom closet near the front door.

The homeowner confronted the man who fled out the front door. As he was running the bag he was carrying hit the door and tore open dumping the contents on the deck. A search of the area turned up personal property about 50 yards away just inside a tree line. Included in the property was clothing and a wallet with the Identification of Joshua Ray Murphy of High Shoals.

A short time later Murphy allegedly entered the home of Lyle Clafin in the 1200 block of Jaclyn Lane in Lincolnton. He was confronted by Mr. Clafin as he entered an unlocked door and fled the scene. Nothing was taken at this residence. Detective Kelly Paris processed the crime scene.

Baker District Patrol deputies searched the area and picked up Murphy a short time later on Salem Church Road. He was then transported to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for questioning. He was taken before a magistrate and placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in District Court Friday.

43-year-old Wendi Storie Jones was arrested today (Tuesday, June 23) by authorities in Burke County. She’s charged with felony larceny after breaking and entering. Following the arrest, Jones was jailed in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for July 27.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 11:32

Hickory Man Charged with Felony Vehicle Theft

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21-year-old Luis Osvaldo Marrero of 2nd Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock last night on one felony count of larceny of a motor vehicle. The warrant for his arrest was issued by the Long View Police Department.

Marrero was taken into custody without incident at the A&W Mini Mart on South Center Street. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for June 29 in Newton.

38-year-old William Garrett Goins was arrested today (Tuesday, June 23) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony larceny from an automobile. Following the arrest, Goins was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday (June 26).

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:47

Hickory Man Arrested on Felony Cocaine Charge

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57-year-old Larry Charles Pruitt of 12th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 1:40 yesterday afternoon (June 22) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He is accused of possessing 0.2 grams of crack cocaine.

Pruitt was taken into custody without incident on the 1500 block of Fairgrove Church Road. He has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for June 29 in Newton.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:46

191 Jobs Coming to Hickory

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Blue Bloodhound, LP is establishing operations in Catawba County and plans to create 191 new jobs over the next three years. The company plans to invest $400,000 in the city of Hickory over the same period.

Blue Bloodhound has developed proprietary software designed to assist truck drivers with maintaining safety records, to remind them of renewal deadlines and to locate job opportunities for Class A and Class B drivers.

Salaries will vary by job, but available positions will include customer service representatives, accounting and marketing personnel. The average annual salary of the new jobs will be $46,368. The average for Catawba County is $36,770.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $305,600. In addition, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has awarded the City of Hickory a Building Reuse Program grant in the amount of $259,400 to support the reuse of the historic Moretz Mills building, located at 74 8th Street. Blue Bloodhound will lease the second floor space that has been vacant for three years.

A Special Meeting of the Hickory City Council will be held on Thursday (June 25) at 8:30 a.m. in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building, 76 North Center Street, Hickory. The purpose of this Special Meeting is for City Council to discuss Economic Development Incentives.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 05:22

Lenoir Man Charged With Meth Possession

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33-year-old Brandon Michael Waters of Post Place in Lenoir was arrested Friday (June 19) by Hudson Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine. Waters was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. A District Court date is scheduled for July 13.

23-year-old Ashley Nicole Clay of Waters Street in Granite Falls was arrested Saturday (June 20) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged on a fugitive warrant from the state of Louisiana. Following her arrest, Clay was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court date is scheduled for July 13.

29-year-old Blake Anthony Vivona of McDaniels Circle in Newton was arrested Saturday (June 20) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, one felony county of obtaining property by false pretense, one felony count of possession of more than five counterfeit instruments (bills), one felony count of passing a substitute coin, and a misdemeanor count of obstruct and delay Investigation.

Morganton Public Safety officers responded to Morganton Heights Shopping Center to a report of fraud at JoAnn Fabrics. The manager of the store suspected the bill to be counterfeit because it was lacking the security features that all US Currency has. The manager reported that a white male had attempted to pass a counterfeit $100, denied the suspects purchase and called Morganton Public Safety.

While officers were enroute to the shopping center, the suspect entered the Dollar Tree and passed a counterfeit $100 to purchase two bottles of laundry detergent, receiving legitimate cash/change from his purchase.

The suspect then entered Pet Smart and attempted to purchase an extra-large, Brett Michaels, leopard-print dog collar. The suspect attempted to purchase this item with a counterfeit $100 bill. Prior to the suspect entering the store, JoAnn Fabric manager had called Pet Smart employees to warn about the suspect passing counterfeit money. Pet Smart employee Brandi Davis inspected to $100 bill and immediately knew it was counterfeit. The suspect attempted to distract the Pet Smart cashier by stating that the Brett Michaels collar was for his wife. The cashier denied the transaction as Public Safety Officers made contact with the suspect.

The suspect initially identified himself as Blake Haddad. A records check indicated that Haddad had several pending charges of obtaining property by false pretense and possessing counterfeit instruments (fake money). Haddad was arrested for possession of counterfeit money. A search of his person discovered 14-$100 dollar bills in his pelvic region.

Public Safety officers discovered, through background investigation, that the suspect had provided a false name. His actual name was Blake Anthony Vivona. Vivona admitted to obtaining a NC ID card under the false name of Blake Haddad. Vivona also admitted to creating/falsifying information relating to social security number and date(s) of birth to obtain an actual NC ID Card.

Further investigation revealed that Vivona had recently been charged in Iredell County with passing $100 bills at several businesses. Vivona is a wanted person from Orange County, California or passing counterfeit bills.

Due to falsifying his identity and possession of a large quantity of counterfeit money, Vivona is being held without bond at The Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility. The Morganton Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division is continuing the investigation along with the NC License and Theft Bureau.

Morganton Public Safety would like to remind merchants that counterfeit bills are easily detected through visually inspecting the bill with a light source (holding the bill up) to ensure the holographic image, internal metallic ribbon, watermark and small colored fibers throughout. Some counterfeit bills will not identify as fake even with the marking pen used widely by merchants.