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The Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is seeking assistance from the public in identifying the suspect in a pair of business break-ins.

On May 26, 2015 the Family Dollar at 3222 US 70 E, Morganton was broken into and property was removed. On May 31, 2015 the Drexel Discount Drug was the target of a Breaking and Entering. The pictures released with this information are of the vehicle and suspect associated with this case. One of the photos is included with this story. Based on the suspect’s actions, detectives believe the Family Dollar and this case are connected.

The vehicle is a white 1994 – 2004 Dodge Ram Extended Bed, 2 wheel drive with no hub caps covering the lug nuts. The suspect has a goatee and a large amount of under growth under his chin. Based on the video, detectives believes he is between 22 – 35 years old. If you recognize this person and/or vehicle, please contact the Criminal Investigations Division at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 764-9505 or (828) 438-5500.

28-year-old Amber Dawn Harris of Wallace Road in Morganton was arrested by Lincoln County Detective Lt. Tim Johnson yesterday (June 15) on one felony count of accessory after the fact.

Harris was charged in connection to the murder of 77-year-old Lucille Miller Punch. She is accused of assisting Chadwick Allen Bean in attempting to escape detection, arrest and punishment by burning Bean’s clothing in a wood stove. In addition, she allegedly told Bean she would provide an alibi by saying that he was not in Denver at the time of the murder.

Bean, the victim’s grandson, was arrested and charged with first-degree-murder on June 11. Ms. Punch’s body was found by her son-in-law on February 22. She died as the result of multiple stab wounds.

Following her arrest yesterday, Harris was placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.

34-year-old Kenneth Elijah Daniels of Capps Drive in Bessemer City was arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers and charged with one felony count each of Sell and Deliver of a Counterfeit Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver a Counterfeit Controlled Substance, Maintaining a Vehicle for a Controlled Substance, and Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine, He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of Child Abuse, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Possession of Schedule IV Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

22-year-old Emily Edwards of Oates Road in Gastonia was charged with one felony count of Sell and Deliver Counterfeit Controlled Substance, and misdemeanor charges of Child Abuse, Simple Possession of Schedule VI Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

24-year-old David Fitzgerald Dameron of South Trenton Street in Gastonia was charged with two felony counts of Sell and Deliver Cocaine and one felony count of Possession with the Intent to Sell and Deliver Cocaine. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of Assault on a Government Official and Resisting a Public Officer.

61-year-old John Timothy Heflin of Redwood Circle in Kings Mountain was charged with one felony count of Maintain a Dwell/Vehicle/Place for Controlled Substances.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigators arrested the four suspects after conducting two separate surveillance operations in the parking lot of a business located near the 3700 block of Gastonia Hwy.

According to a news release issued by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, during the first operation, narcotic detectives arrested Daniels and Edwards, after watching them conduct a drug sale. While detectives were attempting to apprehend both subjects, Daniels attempted to flee the scene in his vehicle by quickly putting the car in reverse and then striking a detective’s vehicle while detectives were still inside the vehicle. Also, inside of Daniels’ vehicle were Edwards and her ten month old son. Detectives located the child in a loosely-fitting child car seat in the back seat of the vehicle. The Department of Social Services was called to the scene and the child was turned over to a family member.

During the second operation, narcotics detectives observed another drug sale in the same parking lot and attempted to arrest the violators. During the arrest Dameron jumped from the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. Detectives chased Dameron and took him in custody after a brief struggle. Dameron struck one detective in the head and face causing minor injuries. The other suspect, Heflin, the owner of the vehicle, was arrested without incident.

All four suspects were incarcerated in the Lincoln County Detention Center. Daniels was jailed under $30,000 secured bond. Edwards was locked up under $10,000 secured bond, a District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, June 16). Dameron’s bond was set at $10,000 secured, and Heflin was placed in jail under a $2,500 unsecured bond. Court dates are not listed for Daniels, Dameron, and Heflin.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 10:31

Hillsborough Man Faces Habitual Larceny Charge

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27-year-old Matthew Paul Hughes of Orange Grove Road in Hillsborough was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:30 yesterday morning (June 15) on one felony count of habitual larceny and one misdemeanor count of larceny.

He was arrested after Officers were called to the Walgreens store on North Center Street. A white male, later identified as Matthew Hughes, had entered the store an attempted to fill a prescription. The pharmacy refused when Hughes was unable to provide identification.

Hughes walked around the store, took some items without paying and then attempted unsuccessfully to return the items. He then left the store with other items in his pockets, including a USB car charger and eye drops valued at $17.

Police located Hughes outside the store and took him into custody without incident. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $7,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court yesterday in Newton. Another court date was set for July 6.

27-year-old Lashonda Evette Ikard of 5th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday (June 15) on misdemeanor counts of larceny and second-degree trespassing. She was also arrested on a warrant issued last month for felony larceny.

She was arrested after Police responded to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in reference to a possible larceny. Ikard allegedly paid for some items and then placed those on top of other items that hadn’t been paid for. She passed the last point of sale where she was confronted by Loss Prevention Officers, who then called Hickory Police. The items taken were described on Police reports as household goods valued at $38.

Ikard was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,750 secured bond. She will appear in District Court on July 14 in Hickory and in Superior Court on June 19 in Newton.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 10:24

Hickory City Council To Meet Tonight

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Hickory City Council will meet in regular session tonight. Council will vote on the City Manager’s Annual Budget Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. It’s the second reading, the first reading approved unanimously.

Among other items on tonight’s agenda, WHKY will be presented a Business Well Crafted Award in commemoration of the station’s 75th Anniversary. In addition, there will be a presentation of the 19th Consecutive Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Hickory.

Other items listed under reaffirmation and ratification of second readings include council voting on the approval of an application for a 2015 Justice Assistance Grant to purchase additional body-worn cameras and digital video evidence management services, and approval of the interlocal agreement with Catawba County. Also under second readings, council will vote on the approval of an agreement with Alfred Benesch & Company in the amount of $9,450 to update the Park Master Site Plan for the Cloninger Mill Property.

Tonight’s Hickory City Council meeting gets underway at 7:00 in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building at 76 North Center Street.

26-year-old Aaron Ralph Gragg of Razors Ridge Road in Morganton was arrested last Thursday (June 11) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on an indictment with felony larceny.

On April 15, 2014 at approximately 7:30 a.m., a resident at the intersection of NC Hwy 126 and Razors Ridge Road in Morganton, witnessed suspicious activity at 2868 NC Hwy 126. The resident called the Burke County Sheriff’s Office and advised that they were witnessing several subjects at their neighbors’ residence in a white El Camino trying to steal his neighbors’ pontoon boat.

Deputies responded to the scene of the crime in progress to find the El Camino abandoned and stuck in the mud. There were tire tracks in the mud leading from the El Camino to the tongue of the boat trailer. There was a lock on the trailer and bolt cutters were located in the bed of the abandoned El Camino.

Deputies were able to identify the vehicle's owner who lived at 1313 Razor’s Ridge Road, and it was determined that Aaron Gragg had been driving the El Camino. Several subjects were present at 1313 Razor’s Ridge that had mud spatter on their clothing. Involvement in the attempted larceny was denied by all subjects.

On July 17, 2014, detectives interviewed Aaron Gragg in regards to the incident. Sufficient probable cause was found to indict multiple subjects, to include Aaron Ralph Gragg. An Order for Arrest was issued for Gragg on April 6, and he was taken into custody on June 11. Gragg was confined at the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for July 27.

25-year-old James Michael Miller of Herman Road in Claremont was arrested Monday (June 15) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with fail to register as a sex offender. Following the arrest, Miller was incarcerated at the Catawba County Detention Facility under $40,000 bond. A District Court date is set for Wednesday (June 17).

19-year-old Larry Gene Smith of 20th Street NE in Hickory was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with break or enter to a place of worship, two counts of larceny after breaking and entering, two counts of possession of stolen goods, and breaking and or entering. Following the arrest, Smith was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Tuesday, June 16) under $25,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (June 19). 

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners met in regular session Monday night.

The Board held a public hearing to receive citizen comments and approved the submission of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Rural Economic Development Division, for the Commerce Fellows “Building Community Through Capacity and Knowledge” program.

The purpose of the Commerce Fellows program is to provide technical assistance, capacity building and training to North Carolina local governments. The State is partnering with North Carolina universities to provide high-quality professional development to local government staff with a focus on community development and improving opportunities for low and moderate income individuals.

In other action Monday night, the board approved the Catawba County Library Strategic Plan 2016-2019. In addition, the board made appointments to various boards and committees.