At about 9 a.m. Sunday (April 22), members of the Hopewell Baptist Church at 1112 Hopewell Road in Morganton discovered the church had been broken into.
A safe had been pried open, money was missing and there was damage to the interior of the church. Detectives from the Burke County Sheriff’s C.I.D. unit responded. They photographed and processed the scene.
Probable cause was developed, leading to the arrests yesterday (April 26) of two 16-year-old juvenile suspects. Both suspects were released to their respective parents’ custody. Court dates are pending.
A helicopter hit a house at the corner of Killian Road and McKay Farm Road in Newton at about 1:15 this afternoon (April 27).
Catawba Co. Emergency Management’s Karyn Yaussy told WHKY that two people were onboard the helicopter. One person was transported to the hospital with critical injuries. The second person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. One person was present in the home at the time. He was not injured.
The helicopter was doing contract work flying utility lines, specifically the new gas lines coming into Catawba County.
As of this afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) was en-route from Charlotte. F.A.A. Investigators will talk with the National Transportation Safety Board after conducting their preliminary investigation.
The on-scene investigation was expected to take until late this evening or early tomorrow morning.
38-year-old David Lee Brittain of 6th Street Drive N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 3:15 yesterday afternoon (April 26) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering.
On April 17, Hickory Police responded to a reported B&E at Viewmont Self Storage on 23rd Avenue N.E. The owner of the property reported that a storage unit had been broken into on the same date. Following a review of video surveillance footage, David Lee Brittain was identified as the suspect. Warrants were issued, leading to the suspect’s arrest yesterday.
Brittain was taken into custody without incident at the Hickory Police Department. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $9,999 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
38-year-old Alexander Mitchell Froedge of 3rd Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 2:25 yesterday afternoon (April 26) on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Froedge was taken into custody without incident on the 700 block of 12th Street Drive N.W. in Hickory. He was processed and released under a $4,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
The District Attorney’s Office has declined to prosecute a 67-year-old Catawba County woman in an alleged voter fraud case. On March 3 of this year, an Investigator with the North Carolina State Board of Elections submitted information regarding the case for D.A.’s review. The alleged voter fraud occurred in Catawba County in November 2016.
The suspect is a 67-year-old woman with no history of illegal behavior, other than “a couple” of minor traffic tickets. The woman’s mother was 89 years old. The mother had intended to vote in last year’s presidential election by absentee ballot, but had not completed the ballot when she suffered a massive stroke and died in October of 2016.
Prior to the woman’s death, she had instructed her daughter to use her Power of Attorney to cast her vote in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. This was the deceased woman’s last request. The suspect cast her mother’s vote on November 3 at an early voting location. The vote was cast eight days after the suspect’s mother’s death and four days after the funeral.
According to the D.A.’s statement, the suspect lacked any fraudulent intent, and, when contacted by the North Carolina State Board of Elections investigator, the suspect was honest and cooperative.
The D.A.’s Office has prosecutorial discretion to determine whether a case should be prosecuted, which it exercises on a case-by-case basis. The D.A.’s statement says its office consistently demonstrates compassion in dealing with first-time, non-violent offenders.
At 10:30 Wednesday morning (April 26), the Newton Police Department responded to a reported armed robbery at First Citizens Bank at 11 South College Avenue in Newton.
Upon arrival, Officers were told that the suspect approached a teller, presented a bag and instructed the teller to place money in the bag. The suspect did not present a weapon during the robbery.
The suspect exited the bank and was last seen running north from the scene via an alleyway beside the Newton Vision Center on East “A” Street. He fled the scene with approximately $1,500 in cash.
The suspect was described as a thin, black male, 5’8” tall, weighing between 150-160 pounds. He was wearing a brown, hooded Carhartt jacket, blue jeans, brown shoes or work boots, a red shirt and a white baseball-style hat.
Anyone with information should call the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.
35-year-old Shannon Nichole Linebarger of Old Farm Drive in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:10 last night (April 25) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering, plus one misdemeanor drug charge.
She was arrested after Hickory Police responded to a shoplifting call at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. Linebarger had gone past the last point of sale with items concealed. She had been previously banned from the store.
Linebarger was arrested without incident at the store. She was processed and released into the custody of a bondsman under a $7,500 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
29-year-old Cory Elijah Moretz of Little River Church Road in Taylorsville was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (April 26) on one felony count each of fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle with two aggravating factors, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of heroin, plus three counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He also faces single misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding and driving while license revoked. The warrants for his arrest were issued in February and March of this year and earlier this month in Caldwell, Alexander and Burke counties.
At about 2:30 a.m. today, Moretz was taken into custody following a traffic stop occurring on Highway 321 N.W. The vehicle was stopped for displaying a fictitious license plate. Moretz, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was determined to have multiple outstanding warrants.
Moretz was jailed under a $96,500 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court tomorrow in Lenoir. He also has a court date in Morganton on May 9 for several traffic violations and another District Court appearance in Taylorsville on June 26 for felony counts of larceny of a firearm, breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering.
The Hickory Police Department will host two upcoming events – “Run With the Law” and the department’s 20th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics. Both events encourage participation with Special Olympic athletes and help to raise money for the programs offered by Special Olympics of North Carolina.
“Run With the Law” will be held on May 6, beginning at Police Headquarters on 2nd Avenue S.W. in Hickory. On-site registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the awareness run beginning at 8:30 a.m. A minimum donation of $25 is required to participate and runners will receive a free Law Enforcement Torch Run t-shirt.
The Golf Tournament will be held on May 15 at the Lake Hickory Country Club (the Catawba Springs Course).
To pre-register for the run or if interested in becoming a sponsor or entering a team in the golf tournament, contact Chrystal Dieter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-261-2642.
Sponsors for the golf tournament are: Mike Johnson Toyota, Texas Roadhouse, Homes for Heroes, Wize Home Direct, Donna Austin Team – Coldwell Banker, Harriet Kirkland – Coldwell Banker, Blue Ridge Fire Protection, Martin Marietta, Shuford Credit Union, Catawba Valley Insurance Agency, Growing Smiles, Arby’s, McDonalds, Smoothie King, Fran Redden – Coldwell Banker, Suzanne Williams – Coldwell Banker, Kay Schmucker Team – Berkshire Hathaway, Outdoor Supply Company, Food Matters Marker, Auto Spa and the Hickory Crawdads.
21-year-old Tyler James Carey of Neil Road in Morganton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:40 yesterday afternoon on two felony counts of larceny by servant or other employee and one misdemeanor count each of failure to appear on a charge of driving while license revoked and providing false information to an officer. The larceny warrants were issued in Buncombe County and the failure to appear warrant comes from Yancey County. The false information charge is local.
Carey was taken into custody without incident at the Golden Corral restaurant on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He has since been released. Carey will appear in District Court on April 28 in Asheville; on May 31 in Yancey County; and on June 20 in Newton.