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Citizens are continuing to notify law enforcement about calls from scammers attempting to collect money while posing as IRS agents.

Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones announced Wednesday (May 18) that the Sheriff’s Office has received an increased amount of these types of calls. The solicitation from the scammer may include a threat of arrest or other legal action if the taxes are not paid immediately. The scammers have instructed residents to forward funds to them via money order or through the use of ITunes cards that are purchased at a local retail store.

The Sheriff says in a news release that the department is asking all residents that receive any calls from anyone portraying themselves as IRS employees demanding anything of value with the threat of any legal action to disconnect the call. If you are a resident that is unsure if you owe taxes and feel that you need to verify if taxes are indeed owed we are asking that you contact the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040.

A news release from the Alexander County Sheriff's Office also states that they have recently received a number of complaints from local residents who have received these types of phone calls.

Residents are also encouraged to make a report of the scam online with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at www.tigta.gov or by calling 800-366-4484.

Thursday, 19 May 2016 05:23

Hickory Man Arrested On String Of Charges

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45-year-old Renous Alan Hughes of 4th Avenue SW in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (May 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of breaking and entering and second degree trespassing, along with single counts of possession of stolen goods, injury to personal property, shoplifting with concealment of goods, injury to real property, and violation of court order. Hughes was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $32,000 bond. A District Court date is set for June 7.

A Georgia man will spend at least eight years in a North Carolina prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder during Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday (May 17).

25-year-old Walter Edward Nichols II was sentenced to serve eight to eleven years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections for the 2013 stabbing of a then-23-year-old female victim. The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Eric C. Morgan, Superior Court Judge from Forsyth County.  

According to the investigative report from Valdese Police Department, Nichols and the victim had been living together for about three months and went to a bar in Mountain View. The defendant became agitated with her and began shouting at her.

On their way home, Nichols again began yelling at the victim. He parked the car and threw the keys out the window. After being shoved against the car door by the defendant, the female found the keys, and the couple went to the parking lot of their apartment as he continued to yell at her. When she told him their relationship was over, Nichols stabbed the victim multiple times in the front seat of the car, causing significant injuries to her right upper chest, left forearm and left jaw/neck area.

After begging for her life, the female got away from Nichols and ran to the apartment of her grandmother nearby. Law enforcement was notified. Burke County EMS arrived and transported the victim to Valdese Hospital where she received emergency medical care.

Nichols was located lying on the porch of another apartment at the same complex, and the knife he used in the stabbing was found nearby.

Assistant Chief Jamie Buchanan and Chris Edwards investigated the case for Valdese Police Department. Frank Webster and Chris Back handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

The jury's decision to sentence 37-year-old Everette Porshau Hewitt of Claremont to life in prison will stand following a ruling Wednesday (May 18) in Catawba County Superior Court. A motion for a mistrial was denied and Superior Court Judge Nathaniel J. Poovey sentenced Hewitt to three consecutive terms of life in prison without parole.

The jury initially came to a decision Tuesday (May 17) in the sentencing phase of the trial of Hewitt, however the sentence was not imposed at that time due to a defense motion for a mistrial. The motion was based on the belief that the jury forewoman was not forthcoming about the death of her father, who was shot and killed 30 years ago. This information was not revealed during jury selection. Judge Poovey ruled yesterday that there was no jury misconduct.

Hewitt was convicted on May 6 of killing Wade Sigmon, Susan Blevins and Connie Miller in 2011. Hewitt was also found guilty of shooting Joseph Burke, who survived. In addition, he was convicted of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and first-degree burglary.

Lincolnton Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects in a vending machine break-in at the Pro Wash USA car wash on Hartman Street in Lincolnton.

On Monday (May 16), Lincolnton Police Officer Isaiah Matthews responded to a reported B&E at the car wash. Officer Matthews spoke with an employee who said that someone broke into the business’ cash & change machine the night before. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken. Damage to the machine was estimated in excess of $1,000.

Officers viewed video surveillance footage and learned that the crime occurred at about 11:30 Sunday night. The suspects appear to be a white male and a female of unknown race. Their vehicle was a late model Chevrolet Captiva. The male appeared to commit the actual B&E while the female served as a lookout.

The white male appears to be in his mid-20s. He was wearing camouflage cargo shorts, a black shirt and a ball cap. The female was wearing a hoodie pulled over her head. Detectives are in the process of obtaining enhanced surveillance footage to assist in the identification.

Detectives are asking citizens and businesses to be on the lookout for the suspects and to contact Police if anyone attempts or has attempted to cash in several one-dollar bills or a large amount of change.

Anyone with information should contact Lincolnton Police at 704- 736-8900 or contact Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

For more information, contact Det. Brandon Hunsucker at 704-736-8900.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:38

GHCCM to Offer Expunction Clinic Friday

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An upcoming clinic is offering a chance at a fresh start for some citizens with criminal records. The Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM), in partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina, will offer an Expunction Clinic on Friday, May 20, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the ministry.

Persons with a criminal record may experience difficulty in obtaining housing, employment or other opportunities. Those interested in determining whether they are eligible for an expunction - the legal term for a court order that clears a mark on a person’s criminal record - are encouraged to call and register for the clinic.

Offenses that are generally eligible for expunction include first-time, non-violent offenses committed more than 15 years ago and first-time offenses committed when a person was under the age of 18 or 22. Charges that were dropped for which a person was found to be not guilty may also be eligible.

According to Kathee Martin, GHCCM’s Director of Programs & Services, there are 1.6 million North Carolinians with criminal records. There are nearly 1,000 state and federal laws designed to deny those persons various rights and privileges, which include public housing and hunting licenses.

Catawba County residents interested in determining whether or not they are eligible for an expunction or court order can register for the free clinic by contacting Ms. Martin at 828-323-7912. The clinic is by appointment only and space is limited.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:28

Hickory Man Jailed on Assault Charges

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44-year-old Luciano Garcia Mondragon of 17th Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before 1 p.m. yesterday (May 17) on one felony count of assault inflicting serious injury including strangulation and one misdemeanor count of assault on a female.

He was taken into custody near the intersection of Fairgrove Church Road and Highway 70 S.E. Mondragon was confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond on the assault on a female charge. Bond on the other charge was set at $4,000. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

No further details are available.

31-year-old Dorey Jarvis Joyner was arrested last Friday (May 13) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony attempted larceny, felony larceny, and misdemeanor larceny.  

According to a news release issued today (Wednesday, May 18), on April 14 at approximately 10 p.m a Honda 250X dirt bike was stolen from Westmoreland Road in Troutman. Just a few hours later at approximately 2 a.m. on April 15, a 1982 Yamaha IT175 dirt bike was stolen from Shepherd Road in Mooresville. The offender also attempted to steal a 2003 Yamaha Blaster 200 four wheeler, but the four wheeler was found above the victim’s residence. The victim believed it was left behind once the offender realized that it did not run. While Detectives were investigating both cases they discovered the two dirt bikes were advertised for sale and they were advertised by the same person on the day they were stolen. The person who advertised them lived in Winston Salem.

Iredell County Detectives worked with the Winston Salem Police Department and were able to set up a meeting with the man who was trying to sell the dirt bikes. Both agencies went to the residence in Winston-Salem at the time that was previously set up to view the bikes for sale. At that time it was discovered that Dorey Jarvis Joyner of Statesville sold both of the dirt bikes to this individual on April 16 for $1,000. Both dirt bikes were recovered.

Bond for Joyner was set at $2,000 secured. He's scheduled to appear in District Court May 26.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 10:03

Lenoir Man Charged With Identity Theft

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39-year-old Christopher Ronald Perkins of Old North Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (May 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretense. Perkins was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (May 19).

28-year-old Michael Poarch of Spencer Road in Conover was arrested Tuesday (May 17) by Granite Falls Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession schedule II controlled substance, simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance, simple possession of schedule VI controlled substance, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving while license revoked. Poarch was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $8,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday.