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A suspected sex offender being sought by authorities in Burke County has been caught. 32-year-old Omar Cristian Region-Vera of Morganton was wanted by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office on charges of statutory rape of child less than 13 years old when the offender is more than 12 years of age and more than six years older than the victim and incest involving a child less than 13 years old when the offender is a parent.

On April 18, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault. Deputies spoke with the mother of the juvenile victims. Detectives processed the scene and went to the Burke County Child Advocacy Center where the children were interviewed, examined and provided with medical treatment. Also assisting in the investigation is the Burke County Department of Social Services.

According to the Burke County Sheriff's Office, Region-Vera was apprehended in Tennessee. No further details on the arrest were released.

Friday, 22 April 2016 05:18

Hickory Man Charged With Burglary

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24-year-old Daryll Rashad Covington of 2nd Street Place SW in Hickory was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with first degree burglary and felony larceny. Covington was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Friday, April 22) under $35,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.

69-year-old Clyde Garry Whisenant, who is listed as a homeless man from Taylorsville, was arrested Thursday (April 21) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with first degree rape of a child. Following the arrest, Whisenant was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $80,000 bond. No court date was listed.

41-year-old Timothy Nathaniel Wingo of Hickory will spend at least seven years in prison after pleading guilty to breaking into a house of worship, obtaining property by false pretense and admitting his status as a habitual felon during Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday (April 20).

The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, sentenced Wingo to an active prison term of seven to nine years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.

Wingo’s sentence was enhanced by his status as a habitual felon, which included prior felony convictions in Burke (August 1994), Rutherford (April 2002) and Forsyth (October 2012) counties.

According to the investigation by the Hickory Police Department, a keyboard and speaker were stolen from Temple of Refuge Church during a break-in that occurred in July 2015. Those items later were pawned at a local pawn shop by Wingo, who provided his identification when he pawned them.

The items later were identified as property of the church and returned.

John Patterson investigated the case for Hickory Police Department, and Lance Sigmon handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

19-year-old Shana Nicole Strickland was arrested today (Thursday, April 21) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony possession of a controlled substance in prison or jail. Bond for Strickland was set at $17,500 secured. A court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (April 25) in Morganton.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:48

Police Investigate Robbery in N.W. Hickory

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Hickory Police are investigating a robbery that occurred early Wednesday morning (just after midnight) outside an apartment on Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory.

A 52-year-old male victim arrived at his apartment and parked his vehicle. As he got out of the vehicle, an unknown subject wearing a dark hoodie and a dark mask ran toward the victim and hit the victim with his hand or with a possible unknown object.

The suspect took the victim’s iPhone, valued at $600, and fled on foot. The phone was recovered after the suspect dropped it in the parking lot.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:41

Hickory Man Arrested on 2014 Drug Charges

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27-year-old Adam Paul Moser of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested yesterday afternoon (April 20) by Hickory Police on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

His arrest stems from an incident in September 2014. Officers on foot patrol at the Terrace Hills public housing complex in the area of 2nd Street Place S.E. spotted a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle’s only occupant, Adam Moser, was in the driver’s seat. Officers conducted a search and found 0.4 grams of crack cocaine and half of a Xanax pill. Moser was initially arrested at that time.

Moser was re-arrested yesterday without incident at K&M Tire, which he lists as his employer. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. Moser was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today in Newton.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 10:33

Statutory Rape Suspect Sought in Burke County

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32-year-old Omar Cristian Region-Vera of Morganton is wanted by the Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of statutory rape of child less than 13 years old when the offender is more than 12 years of age and more than six years older than the victim and incest involving a child less than 13 years old when the offender is a parent.

On April 18, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault. Deputies spoke with the mother of the juvenile victims. Detectives processed the scene and went to the Burke County Child Advocacy Center where the children were interviewed, examined and provided with medical treatment. Also assisting in the investigation is the Burke County Department of Social Services.

The suspect, Omar Cristian Region-Vera, has gone into hiding. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500.

The 2016 Foothills Veterans Stand Down will be held next week. The event will be held next Friday (April 29) at the American Legion Fairgrounds at 1127 U.S. Highway 70 West in Hickory. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All homeless and needy veterans in western North Carolina are invited to attend the event. The day will start with a home cooked breakfast provided and served by area veterans. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet with Veteran's Administration personnel and county Veteran's Services Officers to talk about the opportunity to receive and apply for benefits.

Services available to those who attend will be medical care, dental needs, blood pressure checks, vision care, and other medical necessities. Employment resources will be available to include job services, resume assistance, and free tax preparation. There will be military surplus available to veterans including boots, clothing, duffle bags, blankets, and more as available. Attendees will receive personal hygiene items, camping supplies, shoes and/or work boots (if available). Mental health and pastoral counseling will be on site.

Lunch will be provided, as well as, fellowship with veteran volunteers and veteran advocates. It is the hope that each attendee will be able to connect with needed services and build camaraderie with fellow veterans. Volunteers will be needed during the week of April 25-29. Community agencies and agencies that serve veterans are also needed at the Stand Down.  Get more information at www.foothillsstanddown.com.

According to officials in Lincoln County, a car ran into a home early this morning (Thursday, April 21) in Denver. According to multiple published reports, the incident happened at approximately 3:30 a.m. in the 8200 block of Normandy Road.

The home sustained serious damage and a man was transported to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment of injuries.

One published report says that the home is safe for the family to stay in, but they will be unable to use the bedroom the car crashed into.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.