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23-year-old Katie Michelle Melton of West Stagecoach Trail in Lawndale was arrested by Hickory Police at about three o’clock this morning (June 26) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

She was arrested after Police responded to the Days Inn on Fairgrove Church Road where a female was sleeping in a car in the parking lot. Officer checked the vehicle registration and found that the rental car had been reported stolen by Economy Car Rental.

Melton was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for Monday (June 29) in Newton.

44-year-old Reginald Lee Forney of East Catawba Street in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, extortion, assault by pointing a gun, felony possession of crack cocaine and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance.

At about 2:50 Tuesday afternoon (June 23), Lincolnton Police, with assistance from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, executed two search warrants simultaneously at two different addresses in the Oaklawn community, both on East Catawba Street.

The search warrants were the result of an investigation into a series of armed robberies on the 1000 block of East Catawba Street during the night and early morning hours on Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21. The suspects used a handgun. Evidence was gathered, linking the suspects to the addresses that were searched Tuesday. The suspects at those addresses had histories involving violent crime and gang involvement.

The searches turned up evidence linking Reginald Lee Forney to the armed robberies. He was taken into custody without incident. Additionally, half an ounce of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia were found at Forney’s address. The crack cocaine has an estimated street value of $800.

Forney was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $105,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow (June 26).

Forney has prior convictions for robbery with a dangerous weapon, obtaining property by false pretenses, assault on a female and several traffic related charges. From April 4, 2005 to May 10, 2014, he was incarcerated in the North Carolina Department of Corrections on a conviction for robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The investigation is continuing and further arrests are possible.

33-year-old Nadiaya Rosalyn Johnson of 2nd Street Place S.W. in Hickory was served a felony by Hickory Police at about 3 p.m. yesterday (June 24) on one count of speeding to elude arrest.

The indictment stems from an incident in July of last year in which Police stopped a vehicle driven by Johnson on the 200 block of 9th Avenue Place S.W. in Hickory. Melvin Mull, a passenger in the vehicle, was wanted on an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor assault on a female.

The vehicle then sped away, leading Officers on a brief vehicle chase. At some point, Mull jumped from the vehicle and fled on foot. Both subjects were apprehended. Mull was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

Johnson was taken into custody yesterday at the Wal-Mart store on Highway 70 S.E. She was later released on a $5,000 unsecured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for June 29 in Newton.

Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:28

Silver Alert Issued for Lake Lure Man

The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, 81-year-old Styne Clinton Chambers of Lake Lure. Mr. Chambers is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Mr. Chambers is a white male. He is 5' 5” tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has short gray hair and blue eyes. Mr. Chambers was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans, a red & white hat bearing the name Sugarland, and white shoes. No photo is available.

He was last seen at 112 Mountains Boulevard in Lake Lure.

Mr. Chambers’ vehicle is a gold 2000 Plymouth Voyager with a Tennessee license plate, number HB5168. He may be traveling to Tennessee.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Styne Clinton Chambers should call the Lake Lure Police Department at 828-286-2911.

38-year-old John Samuel Aldridge of Lanier Street in Mount Holly, 40-year-old Penny Moore Self of South Hawthorne Street in Mount Holly and 34-year-old Brandon Jackson Kirby of Ash Street in Lowell have all been arrested in connection to several break-ins at cell tower sites in Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties.

Aldridge faces felony charges on six counts of larceny, one count of breaking & entering a building and three counts of possession of stolen goods. He was also charged with a number of misdemeanors, including two counts of first-degree trespassing, two counts of injury to real property, one count of injury to personal property and one count of interfering with an electronic monitoring device.

Self was charged with one felony count each of larceny and possession of stolen goods. Kirby faces charges in Lincoln, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties on multiple counts of felony larceny and felony breaking & entering, as well as misdemeanor counts of first-degree trespass, larceny, injury to real property and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

Aldridge was arrested yesterday (June 23) in Gaffney, South Carolina by Lincoln Co. Detective Frank Runyon on a warrant as a fugitive from justice. Aldridge waived extradition and was returned to Lincoln County where additional warrants were served.

Aldridge is charged in connection to an April 26, 2015 break-in at a cell tower on the 3400 block of Fox Meadow Lane in Iron Station. Air conditioning units and ground wires for the tower were removed with total property loss estimated in excess of $150,000. He is also charged with breaking into an AT&T cell tower site on Sadler Road on May 12. Ground wires and air conditioning units were taken. In addition, he is accused of causing $10,000 worth of damage and air conditioning thefts from a site on County Line Trail on May 1. Warrants were also served for similar incidents in Lincolnton, Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties.

Aldridge is being held in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $251,000 secured bond. Following her arrest, Self was given a $10,000 secured bond. Kirby remains in the Gaston County Jail. No bond amount is listed for Kirby. Aldridge’s next court date is on June 29 in Mecklenburg County. Self will appear in a Lincoln County courtroom on July 2, and Kirby has a Superior Court date in Gaston County on July 7 and a District Court appearance in Lincoln County the following day.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.

21-year-old Luis Osvaldo Marrero of 2nd Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock last night on one felony count of larceny of a motor vehicle. The warrant for his arrest was issued by the Long View Police Department.

Marrero was taken into custody without incident at the A&W Mini Mart on South Center Street. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for June 29 in Newton.

57-year-old Larry Charles Pruitt of 12th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 1:40 yesterday afternoon (June 22) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He is accused of possessing 0.2 grams of crack cocaine.

Pruitt was taken into custody without incident on the 1500 block of Fairgrove Church Road. He has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for June 29 in Newton.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:46

191 Jobs Coming to Hickory

Blue Bloodhound, LP is establishing operations in Catawba County and plans to create 191 new jobs over the next three years. The company plans to invest $400,000 in the city of Hickory over the same period.

Blue Bloodhound has developed proprietary software designed to assist truck drivers with maintaining safety records, to remind them of renewal deadlines and to locate job opportunities for Class A and Class B drivers.

Salaries will vary by job, but available positions will include customer service representatives, accounting and marketing personnel. The average annual salary of the new jobs will be $46,368. The average for Catawba County is $36,770.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $305,600. In addition, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has awarded the City of Hickory a Building Reuse Program grant in the amount of $259,400 to support the reuse of the historic Moretz Mills building, located at 74 8th Street. Blue Bloodhound will lease the second floor space that has been vacant for three years.

26-year-old Mark Emmanuel Olivos-Martinez of Langden Gate Drive in Charlotte was arrested on June 4 by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives on one felony count each of statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a minor.

The charges stem from a report received on May 23 regarding an alleged statutory rape. An investigation showed that on May 21, the defendant took a 13-year-old female away from her home in order to have sex. The suspect had been communicating with the victim electronically.

Olivos-Martinez was taken into custody in Anson County and then released on a $50,000 secured bond with a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court set for June 19.

When Olivos-Martinez appeared for his court date Friday, Detective Dan Renn served two additional warrants for felony second-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor dissemination to minors under the age of 18. A bond hearing was held and a District Court Judge raised the suspect’s bond to $100,000, secured. Olivos-Martinez remains in the Lincoln County Detention Center with his next court date scheduled for July 14.

21-year-old David Warren Shortridge of Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning on felony counts of possession of methamphetamine and careless & reckless driving, as well as misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while impaired.

Events leading to his arrest began at 1:04 a.m. when Police arrived to check on the health of a driver slumped over the steering wheel while his 2010 Nissan Versa was in the roadway at 4th Street S.W. and 1st Avenue S.W. As Officers attempted to speak to the driver, David Shortridge, he sped away, leading Officers on a brief chase that ended when the vehicle crashed on 1st Avenue S.W. at 14th Street S.W.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident. Shortridge was not injured.

He was taken into custody and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at 8,500, secured. He will appear in District Court on June 29 in Hickory.