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29-year-old Joshua Wayne Kirby of Cape Hickory Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:30 Saturday evening (January 10) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.

He was arrested after a Loss Prevention Officer at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard saw Kirby go to the electronics department where he selected a speaker. Kirby then allegedly removed the security device from the speaker and attempted to return it for a refund at customer service. The speaker was valued at less than $80.

Loss Prevention held Kirby until H.P.D. arrived and placed him under arrest. He was processed and later released under a $10,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (January 12) in Newton.

21-year-old Matthew Levi Lewis Gibson of Parsonville Road in Taylorsville was charged and arrested by Alexander County Sheriff’s Officers on January 6 for failure by a registered sex offender to notify authorities of a new address.

Gibson is on the sex offender registry as the result of a January 2014 conviction in Catawba County for indecent liberties with a minor. The offense occurred in 2010 when Gibson was 16 years old. The victim was 10.

Following his arrest last week, Gibson was placed under a $5,000 secured bond with a first District Court appearance scheduled for today (January 12).

39-year-old Michael Aaron Knepp and 41-year-old Vickie Ann McPherson, both of Long View, have been arrested by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to a series of burglaries that have occurred in the Bethlehem community. They were both charged with one count of felony larceny and 12 counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary. Knepp was also charged with 12 counts of first-degree burglary.

The crimes were reported to the Sheriff’s Office on December 29 of last year. The homeowner said several items were taken from the home, including an antique silver tea service, several pre-World War II Lionel model trains, assorted jewelry, a U.S. Navy Officer’s sword that belonged to a Rear Admiral who won the Navy Cross and several other items. The total value of the antiques stolen was estimated at $200,000.

Several of the items were recovered after Detectives located some of the stolen silver at a business in Hickory. The items were listed on the online database “Leads Online.” Leads Online is a new database that allows Detectives to search pawn and second-hand stores nationwide.

Knepp was arrested and placed in the Alexander County Jail under a $1,031,500 secured bond. He was served with additional warrants from Mecklenburg and Catawba counties. McPherson, who was an in-home healthcare worker for the victim, was also jailed under an $807,500 secured bond. Both suspects were scheduled to make first appearances in Alexander County District Court today (January 12).

Monday, 12 January 2015 11:18

Two Arrested on Firearms Charges in Hickory

40-year-old Rodriguez Lavan of 2nd Street S.E. and 18-year-old Joshua Ernest Robinson of South Center Street, both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police on firearms charges Saturday afternoon (January 10). Lavan was charged with felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Robinson was charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun.

Events leading to the arrests unfolded as Officers conducting a property check at the A&W Mini Mart on South Center Street saw multiple persons gathered by the store’s entrance. Several people entered the store and quickly exited.

Police reviewed video surveillance footage and saw Lavan place a handgun behind some merchandise. The video then showed Robinson retrieving the weapon. Officers recognized the suspects from the footage and took both men into custody without incident.

They were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Lavan was set at $10,000, secured, while Robinson was given a $3,000 secured bond. They have since been released. Lavan was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton. Robinson has a court date scheduled on February 27 in Hickory.

Little additional information is available regarding a plane crash in Long View Tuesday (January 6). The crash happened at approximately 5 p.m. near the Hickory Regional Airport and involved a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza with four people on board.

According to published reports, the pilot of the plane was Jayson Scott Jarvis, who is a nurse anesthetist at Unifour Anesthesia Associates. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. WHKY contacted the hospital today, but they did not confirm that Jarvis was a patient.

Three other persons suffered what were described as minor injuries in the crash. Their identities have not been released.

Friday, 09 January 2015 14:02

Tickets On Sale for "Almost, Maine"

“Almost, Maine” by John Cariani will be staged at the SALT Block Auditorium in Hickory on January 15, 16 & 17 at 8 p.m. each night. The play was previously slated for production at Maiden High School before administrators canceled the production in October.

After the show was canceled, former Catawba County drama teacher Carmen Eckard organized a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $6,500 to stage the show elsewhere. Local attorney, actor and director Bill Morgan is directing, alongside student director Conner Baker.

The production team is working with OutRight Youth Catawba and the United Arts Council of Catawba County, where all extra Kickstarter funds will be donated.

Tickets are $12.75 and are available at eckardphotographic.com/almostmaine. Additional information is posted on the cast’s site: http://almostmaiden.com.

17-year-old Jose Manuel Rodriguez, Jr. of Vermillion Drive Statesville and 19-year-old Quadarius DeShawn Rankin of Sparrow Lane, both from Statesville, have been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers. They were both charged with felony breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering. Rodriguez was also charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle and obtaining property by false pretense.

Tuesday (January 6), the Sheriff’s Office took a report regarding a residential break-in on the Harmony Highway. Between 3 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., property valued at approximately $10,000 was stolen from the residence. Deputies responded to the scene, spoke to the owner and processed the scene for evidence. The victim said one of the items stolen was a truck that was sitting in his driveway.

Deputies issued a call to be on the lookout for the stolen vehicle. The truck was stopped by Statesville Police shortly after midnight. The vehicle was driven by Rodriguez. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene and took Rodriguez into custody.

Further investigation revealed that Rodriguez had sold a computer, also believed to have to have been stolen earlier in the evening, to a friend of his. Deputies recovered the computer and returned it and the truck to the victim.

Additional leads developed after Rodriguez’s arrest led to the identification of Rankin as a second suspect. He was arrested at his home early in the morning hours the next day.

Rodriguez was given a $10,000 secured bond. Rodriguez also has a pending court date on January 15 on a separate charge for felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Rankin’s bond was set at $2,500, secured. Rankin was previously placed on six months probation in November of last year for simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. No court date on the latest charges is currently listed for either suspect.

The National Fraternal Order of Police and C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) have designated January 9 as National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Governor Pat McCrory has also issued a similar proclamation in North Carolina.

In a statement issued today (January 9), the Governor encourages “everyone to take time to thank law enforcement officials and recognize the sacrifices they make daily for our safety”.

44 North Carolina Law Enforcement Officers have lost their lives in the line of duty over the past 10 years. More than 24,000 Officers were assaulted in the line of duty during the ten-year period from 2004 to 2013.

City of Newton Code Enforcement Officer Jon Raines took the law enforcement oath of office on Tuesday, January 6.

Raines has served as Newton’s Code Enforcement Officer since October 2012. He graduated at the top of his class from Catawba Valley Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training. The training includes the study of legal guidelines, patrol duties, law enforcement communications, investigations and practical applications of law enforcement techniques.

Raines will continue serving as Newton’s Code Enforcement Officer where he spends much time working alongside Law Enforcement Officers. He will be able now to assume the responsibilities of a Police Officer while simultaneously executing his duties as Code Enforcement Officer.

The Boone Police Department released a statement yesterday (January 8) confirming that the death of Appalachian State University student Anna Smith last fall was a suicide.

On September 13 of last year, Ms. Smith’s body was found in a wooded area off of Popular Grove Road in Boone. Prior to the discovery, Appalachian State University Police and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation had been investigating Smith's disappearance. Ms. Smith had been reported missing by her college roommate on September 3.

Because Ms. Smith’s body was found off campus, the Boone Police Department took over the investigation. Boone Police Detectives continued to call on the S.B.I. and A.S.U. Police for assistance during the investigation. The F.B.I. also assisted.

On November 25, the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office released an autopsy and toxicology report from the Smith investigation. The report indicated the cause of death as hanging and the manner of death as suicide.

Boone Police Investigations Commander Lt. Chris Hatton said that, separate and apart from the Medical Examiner's investigation, the Police Department’s investigation has led to the same conclusion.

The Boone Police Department expressed its appreciation to the citizens and law enforcement Officers who assisted in the case.