Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman and his deputies are looking for a man and a woman whom they believe have scammed local residents out of approximately $100,000. On Tuesday (May 12), one scam victim informed bowman that he had been called by a man claiming to be selling bath tubs. The man set up an appointment with the victim and made a sales presentation. The resident paid a large down payment on a bathtub; however; the scam artist never returned and the tub was never delivered. The suspect was identified as Donald Gilliam and two charges of obtaining property by false pretense are pending.
In another case, dating back to 2010, Bowman said a female real estate agent by the name of Lucine Collins approached an elderly lady in Alexander County. Collins offered to help the lady sell her home because the homeowner was going to stay elsewhere, due to a health condition. Collins offered to pay rent and utilities in exchange for the privilege of staying in the victim’s home and showing the home to potential buyers, with utilities being kept in the homeowner’s name. However, the victim learned that Collins was neither keeping up utility payments nor paying rent. The homeowner’s accounts were falling behind. Collins introduced the homeowner to Gilliam, whom she described as a loan broker to help out in the situation. Together, Gilliam and Collins scammed more funds from the homeowner.
In a third case, Bowman said Collins learned of a home for sale in the Wittenburg Community. Using her real estate agent experience, she obtained a key code for the lockbox in order to access the vacant home. She found a potential buyer and introduced him to Gilliam, who showed the victim the house. The victim paid thousands of dollars in a down payment on the home to Gilliam. Also, the victim opened a credit card account and allowed Gilliam to use it, on the pretense that it was for funding repairs for the home he had made a down payment on. Gilliam, who is 59-years-old was arrested, charged with obtaining property by false pretense, and given a $1,000 bond. The case is pending in court. Gilliam has been convicted on similar charges and is on probation for such crimes in Catawba, Gaston, Wilkes, Moore, and Cleveland counties. He missed a court date last week, said Bowman.
Lucine Collins, who is 67-years-old, has never been arrested, but has outstanding warrants on obtaining property by false pretense. Anyone having information on these suspects should call the Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-1111 or Alexander County Crime stoppers at 828-632-8555. Sheriff Bowman also urges the public to use caution regarding salespeople and to make sure that a permit is presented before discussing any items for sale.
The District Attorney’s Office in Caldwell County will offer its residents an easier way to handle traffic citations.
Beginning July 10, 2015, Traffic Court will be offered in Caldwell by the DA’s Office, joining Burke and Catawba counties in providing such a service to residents.
The new Traffic Court is intended to relieve over-burdened District Court Criminal dockets and ensure that law enforcement officers are allowed more time to perform their patrol duties.
“Burke and Catawba have had infractions court for several years, and it works very well,” District Attorney David Learner said. “It accomplishes a couple of things. First, it takes minor traffic offenses out of District Court and gives more time for the disposition of more serious matters. It also gives the public a very easy way to come in and quickly get some help on minor traffic offenses they can take care of themselves.”
Officers will set the following infractions on the Traffic Court calendar:
· speeding tickets 20 mph or less (over the speed limit), not related to other misdemeanors or felonies;
· inspection violations, not related to other misdemeanors or felonies;
· registration violations, not related to other misdemeanors or felonies; and
· any traffic infractions not related to other misdemeanors or felonies.
Infractions related to misdemeanors or felonies, and any complicated or difficult matters brought to the attention of the assistant district attorney will be scheduled for an officer’s normal court date. Officers will not be in Traffic Court. The session will be handled by Assistant District Attorneys and assistant clerks of court.
“This will be a really good forum for people who want to represent themselves, and they can expect things to go quickly so they don’t have to sit in court all day,” Learner said.
Traffic Court will take place the second Friday of each month from 9 a.m. until noon in courtroom No. 1 at the Caldwell County Courthouse.
The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning a traffic shift in Statesville tonight (May 14) to move I-40 westbound traffic onto the new bridge structure east of the I-77 overpass. The work is part of the Interstate 40/77 Interchange improvement project.
Crews will begin working on the shift at 8 p.m., with work completed by six o’clock tomorrow morning. The traffic shift will require crews to close one lane of I-40 westbound, including the ramp to I-77 northbound, for a brief period to remove the existing concrete barrier wall and cushion. The barrier wall will be reset on the new alignment for the bridge and new pavement markings will be placed in the updated pattern.
Motorists traveling through the area are advised to slow down, use caution and be mindful of any crews working along the roadside.
The first phase of the I-40/77 interchange project is about 50 percent finished, with completion scheduled for 2017.
36-year-old James Edward Russell III of Mt. Gilleland Church Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (May 13) on charges of felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked and fictitious or altered title, registration card or tag.
He was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $75,000, secured. Russell was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Lenoir.
27-year-old John Dorsey Crisp IV of Shearers Road in Mooresville was arrested Tuesday (May 12) by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of manufacturing marijuana, felony possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of a schedule I controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and alcohol related offenses.
Events leading to his arrest began on May 5 when members of the Iredell County Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team received information about a person allegedly selling homemade liquor and marijuana. An investigation was launched, identifying John Crisp as the possible suspect. Deputies went to Crisp’s home to speak with the suspect.
During the interview, Crisp initially denied any wrongdoing. As Deputies prepared to search the property, Crisp admitted that he was growing marijuana. The search turned up 175 marijuana plants growing on the property. 126 quarts of liquor were also found at various locations on the property. In addition, an active still was found concealed in a building, along with several 55-gallon drums of mash, which is used in the production of moonshine.
An indoor marijuana growing operation was also found, along with 773 grams of marijuana and psylocibin mushrooms. Deputies also found firearms, including a loaded handgun. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $4,000 and the estimated street value of the moonshine was set at $3,100.
Crisp was given a $15,000 secured bond. He faces additional charges in connection to the non-tax paid liquor violations. A District Court appearance was set for May 14.
State A.L.E. officers also assisted with the investigation.
23-year-old Phillip Voltz of 8th Avenue Drive SW in Hickory was arrested today (Thursday, May 14) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with first-degree sexual offense, assault by strangulation, and assault inflicting serious injury. Following the arrest, Voltz was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond, a District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (May 15).
18-year-old Michael Ray Robinson and 17-year-old Sanitra Kay Robinson, both from Lincoln Street, along with 17-year-old Zakari Scott Turner of Pete’s Road and 16-year-old Austin Lee Turner of Oak Grove Church Road, all from Lincolnton, have been arrested by Lincolnton Police on felony charges of breaking & entering, larceny and conspiracy.
On April 15, Officers responded to a residential breaking & entering call at an address on the 1100 block of East Catawba Street in the Oaklawn community. Officers spoke to the victims who said someone forcibly entered their home while they weren’t home and took various items from the residence.
The scene was processed and the case was assigned to Det. Robert Hayes for further investigation. Det. Hayes developed probable cause for arrest warrants for the four suspects.
No court dates are currently listed for Michael Robinson. Sanitra Robinson will appear in District Court on May 21, while Zakari Turner and Austin Turner both have court dates set for June 2.
The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible. Anyone with information should call Det. Hayes at 704-736-8900 or Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous. Information resulting in an arrest could result in a reward of up to $1,000.
26-year-old Telitha Nicole Shull of U.S. Highway 70 SW in Hickory was arrested today (Thursday, May 14) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Shull was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,000 bond, a Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (May 15
21-year-old Christopher Tanner Williams of NW Sharon Avenue in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (May 13) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of breaking and or entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and break or enter a motor vehicle along with misdemeanor counts of injury to personal property and injury to real property. Following the arrest, Williams was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $40,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, May 14).
26-year-old Chante Nicola-Ann Davis was arrested Wednesday (May 13) by authorities in Burke County. She’s charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Following the arrest, Davis was placed in jail under $5,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for Friday (May 15).