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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.

22-year-old Samuel Roy Sipe of East Church Street of Maiden was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (April 16) on one felony count each for possession of heroin and possession of cocaine, plus misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after Police conducting a license checkpoint on the 2100 block of Highway 70 S.E. smelled marijuana coming from a 2015 Toyota Camry. They pulled the vehicle to the side and conducted a search. 0.4 grams of black tar heroin, 0.1 grams of cocaine and 2.5 grams of marijuana were found.

The driver, Samuel Sipe, was taken into custody without incident. A passenger in the Toyota was not charged. Sipe was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (April 18) in Newton.

Monday, 18 April 2016 13:40

Armed Robbery Reported at Holiday Foods

Hickory Police are investigating an armed robbery at the Holiday Foods store on 12th Avenue N.E. in Hickory. Police responded to the store at 8:44 last night (April 17).

A male suspect reportedly walked into the store, hit the clerk in the head with his hand, displayed a gun and forced the clerk to the cash register. He fled the store after taking an undisclosed sum of cash and the clerk’s iPhone. The suspect was wearing a black mask and a hoodie.

The 61-year-old female clerk did not require medical attention.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information regarding the robbery should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

29-year-old Matthew Howard Roark, who is listed as a homeless person, was arrested by Hickory Police just before 5 p.m. Friday (April 15) on one felony count each for possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, plus single misdemeanor counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a controlled substance, possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked, operating a vehicle with no insurance and an expired registration card or tag. He was also charged with a felony out-of-county probation violation.

Four other suspects were arrested at the same time on misdemeanor charges. 29-year-old Andrew Mark Calloway of Moss Lane in Granite Falls was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. 38-year-old Mickey Joe Calloway of 18th Street Place N.W. in Hickory was charged with simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. 56-year-old Mary Massey Roark of Northside Drive in Hiddenite was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and 23-year-old Tracy Diane Teague of Alta Vista Way in Morganton faces charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. She was also charged with a felony probation violation and obtaining property by false pretence.

They were arrested as Hickory Police responded to an “attempt to locate” call from Burke County. Officers had received information that a possible armed robbery suspect, Matthew Roark, was at a motel in Hickory. Hickory Police found the suspect at the Days Inn on Fairgrove Church Road where he was in a room with four other people.

0.2 grams of meth, 38.5 Hydrocodone pills, 2.5 Alprazolam pills and drug paraphernalia were found on Matthew Roark. One Clonazepam pill and half an Alprazolam pill were found on Mickey Calloway. Paraphernalia was found on Teague. During the search, Mary Roark pulled into the parking lot and was arrested on an outstanding warrant. One of the subjects in the hotel room was not charged.

Five subjects were arrested and taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. Matthew Roark, Teague and Andrew Calloway remain in jail with bond set at $29,000, $23,000 and $500, respectively. Mickey Calloway and Mary Roark have since been released. Matthew Roark was due in court today (April 18) in Newton. Teague has a District Court date on May 16 and a Superior Court date on June 13. Mickey Calloway is due in court on May 19. Andrew Calloway has a May 11 court date and Mary Roark will appear in a Burke County courtroom on May 2. Mary Roark also has a May 2 Superior Court date in Caldwell County for felony obtaining property by false pretense.

34-year-old Ian Howell Mauck of Ponderosa Drive in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:20 Friday morning (April 15) on four felony counts of breaking & entering a motor vehicle, one felony count of financial transaction card fraud and four counts of misdemeanor larceny.

His arrest comes in connection to an incident on January 8 of this year when Police responded to the Red Lobster on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory where several vehicles had been broken into. Mauck was identified through the use of debit or credit cards that were stolen from the vehicles.

He was taken into custody without incident at the Sheetz store on Fairgrove Church Road. Mauck was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $30,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (April 18) in Hickory.

The Catawba County Board of Education has accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman, effective April 30. The Board has also accepted Dr. Brigman’s request to take annual leave until April 30. Daniel K. Moore, current Assistant Superintendent for Operations, has been appointed by the Board to fulfill the duties of the superintendent until further notice.

A search for a new permanent superintendent will begin immediately.

The Catawba County school system has a student enrollment of 16,326 in 28 schools. It is the largest employer in Catawba County and has a workforce of 2,010 employees.

32-year-old Bonnie Maureen Hughes of Flat Rock Road in China Grove, N.C. was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon (April 14) on two felony counts of failure to appear and one misdemeanor out-of-county probation violation. She was charged with failure appear charges in connection to charges for obtaining property by false pretense and failure to return hired property.

Hughes was taken into custody without incident at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for Monday (April 18) in Newton.