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Statesville Police are investigating a break-in at the Belk store on East Broad Street last week. On Wednesday (June 25), Statesville Police were notified of the incident that took place earlier that morning.

When employees came into work Wednesday morning, they discovered that someone had broken into the business through the roof and ceiling. The suspect caused thousands of dollars in damages to the ceiling and panels.

Loss Prevention Officers at Belk reviewed video from earlier in the morning and learned that a male subject accessed the roof and made entry into the business through the roof. Once inside, the suspect spent a significant amount of time moving about in the store. The suspect then damaged the ceiling panels trying to exit the store. Statesville Police say, at this point in the investigation, it’s not clear what was taken from the store.

Anyone with information concerning the break-in should contact Statesville Police at 704-878-3406 or Iredell Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340. Callers can remain anonymous and a cash reward is possible.

28-year-old Dale Allen Hall of Hickory was convicted this week in Catawba Co. Criminal Superior Court on two felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, three felony counts of possession or distribution of meth precursors and one felony count each of manufacturing meth and conspiracy to manufacture meth. Hall was sentenced to no less than 90 months and no more than 120 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction. The defendant was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

The crime occurred in October 2012 in Catawba County. As a result of an ongoing criminal investigation and after a confidential informant purchased meth from the defendant, Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers and Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation executed a clandestine lab search warrant that resulted in the location of 11 Hydrogen Chloride Gas (HCl) generators and more than 700 grams of methamphetamine oil.

Investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith prosecuted the case. The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey presided over the convictions.

Hall will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction in Raleigh for processing.

District Attorney James “Jay” Gaither has released the following statement in response to the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Assistant District Attorney Whitney Nicole Shaffer:

“I have made a public statement regarding the true circumstances of my former employee’s departure from my office. At this time I believe it is incumbent upon her to address the issue of whether she had a sexual relationship with a married defense attorney who regularly appeared as opposing counsel in her Court. I believe she owes that to the voters of this district.

While I am human and I make mistakes, I own up to the mistakes I make. This is not one of those occasions. Her claim of sexual harassment is unfounded and false, which is why her EEOC complaint was dismissed.”

Gaither says Shaffer’s initial complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which was filed in October of last year, was thrown out and that Shaffer was not telling the truth in the complaint. Gaither reportedly lodged a complaint with the U.S. Attorney's office prior to the filing of Shaffer’s lawsuit.

Gaither has stated that Shaffer resigned after alleged inappropriate behavior on her part.

17-year-old Bryce Patrick Burns of the Heights Way Apartments in Cornelius has been arrested by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers on one count each of first-degree burglary, larceny after breaking & entering, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of alcohol by a person under 21, as well as two counts of second-degree trespassing.

At 2:20 in the morning on June 22, Deputy J.G. Younts responded to a complaint from a boat owner at the All Seasons Marina in Mooresville. The boat owner said he was awakened by someone on his boat. The boat owner said he chased two male subjects off his boat and to the end of the dock where one person turned and fired a stun gun at him and told him to get away. The victim was able to write down a tag number down from the suspect’s vehicle.

The vehicle was registered to an address in Cornelius where Officers unsuccessfully attempted to locate the suspect at the residence. An Officer in Cornelius was familiar with the vehicle’s driver and passed that information on to Sheriff’s Deputies.

Officers reviewed video surveillance footage taken at the marina in Mooresville and saw the suspects carrying a bag of items from the dock before they were spotted on the victim’s boat. The original complainant told Officers he was missing a bottle of Grey Goose Vodka and a bottle of Gatorade.

Another check of the residence in Cornelius was unsuccessful, but, at about 11 p.m. on the same date, Deputies were told that the suspect vehicle had returned to the residence. Shortly thereafter, Deputies made contact with Bryce Patrick Burns. Burns reportedly admitted to the crimes, but wouldn’t identify the second suspect.

Burns was taken into custody and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center. He’ll appear in an Iredell County courtroom on Monday (June 30).

Friday, 27 June 2014 11:44

Catawba Man Indicted on Sex Offense Charges

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23-year-old Anthony Shawn Cardwell of Mathis Church Road in Catawba has been served felony indictments by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of indecent liberties with a child and disseminating obscenity to a minor.

He is accused of sending sexually explicit pictures of himself to a 15-year-old girl, who was described as an online acquaintance.

Cardwell was confined yesterday (June 26) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $16,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today in Newton.

Friday, 27 June 2014 10:59

Child Support Roundup Nets 16 Arrests

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Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Deputies and Hickory Police Officers conducted an operation on Wednesday (June 25) to serve warrants for child support. Officers riding in pairs consisting of one Deputy and one H.P.D. Officer checked approximately 70 addresses between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Nine child support warrants were served and seven other individuals were served with unrelated warrants through the N.C. Aware system.

The nine persons arrested for child support are Kareem Byrd, Randal Jordan, Joseph Kostic, Lagerald Morgan, Tyreek Ramseur, Barry Ryder, Phillip Payne, Amber Tallent and Robert McAfee. Bond amounts ranged from $100 for Ramseur to $10,000 for Kostic.

Others arrested are Santiago Callejas for misdemeanor failure to appear. He was given a $1,500 bond. Javann Clayton Bryant was arrested for felony breaking & entering with bond set at $6,000, secured. Carla Diane Foster was held without bond on a charge of communicating threats. Johnny See was arrested for possession of a malt beverage by a 19 or 20-year-old; resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer; and unlawful display of a fictitious license. Bond was set at $1,000. Michael James Cline faces a misdemeanor larceny charge and was given a $2,000 bond. Lillie Meline Redmond was arrested on a worthless check charge with a $500 bond and Donovan Jefra Rinehardt faces a charge of driving while license revoked with bond set at $1,000.

17-year-old Nicholas Andrew Tompkins, who had been reported missing from his Lincoln County residence, has returned home safely. According to a statement released by the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office, Topkins is unharmed. Yesterday (June 26), Detectives talked with the teen and with family members who verified that he has returned.

Tompkins, who had been considered a runaway, had been missing since Tuesday, June 17, when he was seen at his residence on Highland Bluff Court in Lincolnton.

Friday, 27 June 2014 07:31

New Catawba County Animal Shelter Opens

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Catawba County’s new Animal Shelter at 201 Government Services Drive in Newton was officially dedicated at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday (June 26).

The new shelter more than doubles the capacity of the old shelter, providing a safer, healthier environment for animals housed in the shelter and for the staff in a building built with the most current LEED energy efficient design.

It also marks the beginning of a new public/private partnership between the county and the Humane Society of Catawba County, which will oversee all animal adoptions and the care of all animals, other than those in quarantine. The county will contract with the Humane Society for its services for $207,000 per year. The funds will come from the existing Animal Services budget with no increase in the budget.

The previous animal shelter was built in 1985 and had a capacity of 78 animals. Renovations in 2005 and 2011 increased the capacity to 102 animals, but the old shelter consistently exceeded that number of animals per day since 2010.

Separate intake and adoption lobbies that will allow staff to intake animals that have not been evaluated for adoptability and safely keep them segregated from animals that have already been deemed adoptable. The adoption lobby will also provide a more comfortable place for citizens who are considering adopting an animal to meet and become acquainted with those animals.

Indoor and outdoor runs will reduce the need for staff to physically move each animal multiple times each day. Animals will now be easily moved to outdoor runs so indoor areas may be properly cleaned. Outdoor runs will also provide a healthier atmosphere for the animals.

A designated quarantine area will allow staff to separate sick or injured animals, dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs, and animals that have been brought to the shelter due to a biting incident.

The 17,500 square foot shelter was designed by Daggett & Grigg Architects. Edison Foard Inc. of Charlotte was the general contractor for the project and was awarded a bid in the amount of $3,323,410. Those funds were set aside by the county over several years before construction began in early 2013.

For more information, call 828-464-7686 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/animal.

32-year-old Joshua Paul Wilson of Ellick Drive in Newton has been arrested by Maiden Police on two felony counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The charges stem from robberies on April 4 at the BB&T bank in Maiden and May 20 at the BB&T in Claremont. A warrant has also been issued charging Wilson with another robbery on June 13 at the BB&T in Valdese.

Authorities say numerous tips from citizens in the community provided information leading to Wilson’s arrest. The investigation was a coordinated effort between the Maiden, Claremont and Valdese police departments. The Catawba County Sheriffs Office also assisted with the arrest.

Wilson was jailed early this morning (June 27) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $400,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

Friday, 27 June 2014 07:22

Hickory Man Sentenced as Habitual Felon

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46-year-old Gregory Scott Gaither of Hickory was convicted this week in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court for felony breaking & entering a motor vehicle. He was also convicted as an habitual felon. The defendant was sentenced to no less than 43 months and no more than 64 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crime occurred in December 2013 in Hickory and involved the defendant using a cement gutter splash to break into a vehicle around midnight in the Sunny Valley community.

Officer Anthony Horton of the Hickory Police Department handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Brenda Brewer prosecuted the case. The Honorable Eric Levinson presided over the conviction.

Gaither will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.