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Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:48

Police Investigate Robbery in N.W. Hickory

Hickory Police are investigating a robbery that occurred early Wednesday morning (just after midnight) outside an apartment on Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory.

A 52-year-old male victim arrived at his apartment and parked his vehicle. As he got out of the vehicle, an unknown subject wearing a dark hoodie and a dark mask ran toward the victim and hit the victim with his hand or with a possible unknown object.

The suspect took the victim’s iPhone, valued at $600, and fled on foot. The phone was recovered after the suspect dropped it in the parking lot.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Thursday, 21 April 2016 11:41

Hickory Man Arrested on 2014 Drug Charges

27-year-old Adam Paul Moser of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested yesterday afternoon (April 20) by Hickory Police on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

His arrest stems from an incident in September 2014. Officers on foot patrol at the Terrace Hills public housing complex in the area of 2nd Street Place S.E. spotted a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle’s only occupant, Adam Moser, was in the driver’s seat. Officers conducted a search and found 0.4 grams of crack cocaine and half of a Xanax pill. Moser was initially arrested at that time.

Moser was re-arrested yesterday without incident at K&M Tire, which he lists as his employer. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $2,500, secured. Moser was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today in Newton.

32-year-old Omar Cristian Region-Vera of Morganton is wanted by the Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of statutory rape of child less than 13 years old when the offender is more than 12 years of age and more than six years older than the victim and incest involving a child less than 13 years old when the offender is a parent.

On April 18, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault. Deputies spoke with the mother of the juvenile victims. Detectives processed the scene and went to the Burke County Child Advocacy Center where the children were interviewed, examined and provided with medical treatment. Also assisting in the investigation is the Burke County Department of Social Services.

The suspect, Omar Cristian Region-Vera, has gone into hiding. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 13:28

Local Activist Passes Away

Larry Pope, an activist and advocate for Hickory’s African-American community, has died at the age of 65. Mr. Pope was found deceased at his residence this morning (April 20). Hickory Police say his death does not appear to be suspicious in nature.  Mr. Pope was a former Hickory Police Officer.

No further details are available at this time.

23-year-old Emmanuel Peralta Martinez of Newton has been sentenced to serve seven-to-ten years in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. The sentence was handed down during Catawba County Superior Court yesterday (April 19) by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.

Martinez is one of two men convicted by a Catawba County jury in December 2015 in connection to a violent November 2013 home invasion. Martinez and James Moser each were found guilty by the jury on December 16. They were each convicted of one count of armed robbery, three counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of felony breaking & entering.

Both men were present during jury selection when the trial began last December, but neither man returned for the rest of the trial. The Honorable Richard D. Boner, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, issued an order for each defendant’s arrest after the jury guilty verdicts were returned.

Martinez was apprehended in Texas in January of this year. He was returned to North Carolina for his sentencing hearing. Martinez was also indicted for felony failure to appear. He pleaded guilty to that charge yesterday as part of his sentencing.

The home invasion occurred on November 12, 2013 in Hickory. It involved three victims. Hickory Police found Martinez and Moser less than 90 minutes later. A wallet belonging to one victim and another victim’s cell phone were recovered by Investigators, along with other evidence.

A co-defendant, Luis Serrano, was sentenced in early February for his role as an accessory after the fact. Moser has not yet been apprehended. Anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Hickory Police Investigator Rob Burwell led the investigation and Melanie Earles handled the prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

41-year-old Gary Thomas Morgan, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested at 7:20 this morning (April 20) on one felony count of possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

His arrest comes in connection to an incident on July 24 of last year. An employee at the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library in Hickory spotted a suspicious subject, later identified as Gary Morgan, who repeatedly sent text messages, left the library for a short time and then came back inside.

H.P.D. responded and searched Morgan’s bag. They found 2.5 grams of marijuana, digital scales and plastic baggies. Morgan was initially arrested at that time.

He was re-arrested without incident today near the Hickory Soup Kitchen on Main Avenue N.E. Morgan was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $2,500 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled for tomorrow.

The Hickory Police Department has designated two parking spaces in the front west public parking lot at police headquarters that are intended to be a “Safe Exchange Zone” and are clearly marked with “Safe Exchange Zone” signs.

The spaces are open to anyone who needs a safe area to complete legal negotiations, such as personal sales transactions for items purchased online. The Hickory Police Department is also offering the area to blended families to use for child custody arrangements.

The area establishes a place where people may come without having to make exchanges at their homes or in random parking lots. The area is under surveillance and is meant to deter transaction fraud and other crimes.

There are no guarantees expressed or implied that make the area 100% safe.

53-year-old Vellessia Crunkleton Church of the East Bandys Crossroads in Catawba was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2 p.m. yesterday (April 18) on one felony count each of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering.

She was arrested after Police were called to the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. where a Loss Prevention Officer saw Church conceal several items and pass the last point-of-sale without paying for them. Church had previously been banned from the store.

She’s accused of taking a table runner, salt & pepper grinders and WellPatches (which are used for pain relief). The items were valued at $29.

Hickory Police arrived and took Church into custody without incident. She was processed and released under a $3,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

33-year-old Crystal Dawn McGee of Sunrise Circle N.E. in Lenoir was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:45 yesterday afternoon on a number of outstanding warrants. From the Morganton Dept. of Public Safety, she faces charges for felony larceny and possession of stolen goods. Those warrants were issued on April 7. In Caldwell County, McGee was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle on a warrant issued on April 4. Hickory Police charged her with resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

She was taken into custody without incident on 2nd Avenue Place S.E. in Hickory, just off of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. McGee was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $12,000 secured bond. She has court dates on April 20 in Morganton; on May 5 in Lenoir; and on June 8 in Newton.

25-year-old Amanda Danielle Forth of Groomstown Road in Greensboro was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (April 16) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was arrested after Police responded to the Red Roof Inn, just off of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. in Hickory. When Officers arrived, E.M.S. personnel were on the scene administering C.P.R. to a male subject. The man was revived and was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.

There were two other occupants in the room. A search was conducted, leading to the discovery of one Clonazepam pill, three syringes and 0.2 grams of methamphetamine in Amanda Forth’s purse. 0.3 grams of meth was found on her person.

Forth was taken into custody without incident at about 4:25 a.m. No one else was charged and no update is available regarding the hospitalized man’s condition. Forth was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. She has since been released. Forth was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (April 18) in Newton.