36-year-old Brian Keith Johnson of 24th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police Saturday morning (January 10) on felony charges of larceny and possession of stolen goods.
He was arrested in connection to an incident that was reported at about 8:45 on January 6 at the Taco Bell construction site on Springs Road. Sometime between 6 p.m. the previous day and the morning of the sixth, nine trench hydraulic jacks valued at $7,200 were taken from the site.
Johnson was identified as the suspect when he attempted to sell the stolen jacks to a local scrap metal dealer. It’s not clear if the stolen equipment was recovered.
Johnson was taken into custody without incident at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. He has been jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $7,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court today (January 12) in Newton.
29-year-old Joshua Wayne Kirby of Cape Hickory Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:30 Saturday evening (January 10) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.
He was arrested after a Loss Prevention Officer at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard saw Kirby go to the electronics department where he selected a speaker. Kirby then allegedly removed the security device from the speaker and attempted to return it for a refund at customer service. The speaker was valued at less than $80.
Loss Prevention held Kirby until H.P.D. arrived and placed him under arrest. He was processed and later released under a $10,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (January 12) in Newton.
21-year-old Matthew Levi Lewis Gibson of Parsonville Road in Taylorsville was charged and arrested by Alexander County Sheriff’s Officers on January 6 for failure by a registered sex offender to notify authorities of a new address.
Gibson is on the sex offender registry as the result of a January 2014 conviction in Catawba County for indecent liberties with a minor. The offense occurred in 2010 when Gibson was 16 years old. The victim was 10.
Following his arrest last week, Gibson was placed under a $5,000 secured bond with a first District Court appearance scheduled for today (January 12).
39-year-old Michael Aaron Knepp and 41-year-old Vickie Ann McPherson, both of Long View, have been arrested by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to a series of burglaries that have occurred in the Bethlehem community. They were both charged with one count of felony larceny and 12 counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary. Knepp was also charged with 12 counts of first-degree burglary.
The crimes were reported to the Sheriff’s Office on December 29 of last year. The homeowner said several items were taken from the home, including an antique silver tea service, several pre-World War II Lionel model trains, assorted jewelry, a U.S. Navy Officer’s sword that belonged to a Rear Admiral who won the Navy Cross and several other items. The total value of the antiques stolen was estimated at $200,000.
Several of the items were recovered after Detectives located some of the stolen silver at a business in Hickory. The items were listed on the online database “Leads Online.” Leads Online is a new database that allows Detectives to search pawn and second-hand stores nationwide.
Knepp was arrested and placed in the Alexander County Jail under a $1,031,500 secured bond. He was served with additional warrants from Mecklenburg and Catawba counties. McPherson, who was an in-home healthcare worker for the victim, was also jailed under an $807,500 secured bond. Both suspects were scheduled to make first appearances in Alexander County District Court today (January 12).
40-year-old Rodriguez Lavan of 2nd Street S.E. and 18-year-old Joshua Ernest Robinson of South Center Street, both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police on firearms charges Saturday afternoon (January 10). Lavan was charged with felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Robinson was charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun.
Events leading to the arrests unfolded as Officers conducting a property check at the A&W Mini Mart on South Center Street saw multiple persons gathered by the store’s entrance. Several people entered the store and quickly exited.
Police reviewed video surveillance footage and saw Lavan place a handgun behind some merchandise. The video then showed Robinson retrieving the weapon. Officers recognized the suspects from the footage and took both men into custody without incident.
They were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Lavan was set at $10,000, secured, while Robinson was given a $3,000 secured bond. They have since been released. Lavan was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton. Robinson has a court date scheduled on February 27 in Hickory.
39-year-old Tony Ray Shatley of Claremont pleaded guilty to three felonies and a driving while impaired charge in Catawba County Superior Court last Friday (January 9). Shatley was convicted of felony larceny, fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle and habitual felon status stemming from a January 17, 2014, incident when he stole a pickup truck and led officers from Hickory Police Department on a chase that resulted in multiple accidents before coming to a stop on U.S. Highway 70.
The Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, sentenced Mr. Shatley to 5-8 years of active prison time. The defendant was placed in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. Mr. Shatley was convicted of three prior felonies, including a breaking and entering in 2005, larceny of a motor vehicle in 2011 and felony breaking and entering of a motor vehicle in 2012. Assistant District Attorney Dawn Tutterow prosecuted the case for the DA’s Office.
HPD Officers Joshua Null, Matt Williams, Carlos De Los Santos, John Radford and Keith Yount were involved in the chase and apprehension of Mr. Shatley as well as accident investigation, and Officer James Crapps was the lead investigator for the case.
Just after 6 p.m. Sunday (January 11), Hickory firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at 1445 4th Street Drive NW (Fox Ridge Apartments). Firefighters responded two engines, one ladder, one rescue unit, and two command units, to the scene. Upon arrival at 6:05 p.m., they reported fire and smoke coming from the roof of the apartment complex. Due to the size of the apartment complex, two additional fire engines were called to the scene to assist. Firefighters worked to evacuate the apartment complex. All residents were evacuated safely and no injuries were reported. The fire was reported to be controlled at 6:34 p.m. Damages were reported in three apartments. The building manager is assisting the displaced residents. Fire investigators determined the fire started in the chimney.
42-year-old Lester Cadell Little of Willow Street in Lenoir was arrested Friday (January 9) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with ten counts apiece of forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument, and obtaining property by false pretense. Following the arrest, Little was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $55,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (January 13).
Mayor of Valdese Jim Hatley died Friday morning at the age of 74. Hatley died at Hospice House in Valdese, Town Manager Jeff Morse told the media Hatley's health had been failing over the last several months. Valdese Town Hall will be closed today until 1 p.m. so employees can attend the mayor’s funeral, according to town officials. Hatley was first elected as mayor in 1999 and his latest term expires in 2017. He was first appointed as a councilman for the town in November 1997 and served in that position until being elected mayor in 1999. The family received friends Sunday at Heritage Funeral Service in Valdese. A graveside service was scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Waldensian Presbyterian Church Cemetery and a memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church.
50-year-old Jonathan David Greene of Hartland Road in Lenoir was arrested Friday (January 9) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, injury to personal property, driving while license revoked, and reckless driving to endanger. Following the arrest, Greene was detained at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for February 9.