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21-year-old Stephen James Harris, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 last night (July 29) on one felony count of failure to register as a sex offender and misdemeanor counts of consumption of alcohol on public streets and on municipal property, second-degree trespass, common law obstructing justice and pedestrian soliciting from the highway. He was also charged with two counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

One of the resisting charges and the soliciting charge originated from his arrest yesterday. The other charges were the result of warrants from Buncombe County. In addition, Harris was wanted on another warrant from Johnson City, Tennessee, for felony failure to register as a sex offender.

He was arrested when Officers approached a subject who was soliciting on the exit ramp for westbound I-40 at 8th Street Drive S.E. After he provided Officers with several false names, the man was correctly identified as Stephen James Harris and the warrants for his arrest were located.

Harris is on the sex offender registry in New York as the result of June 2012 felony convictions on three counts of sexual contact with an individual less than 11years old. His crimes occurred in February of 2012. His victims were a nine-year-old female, a six-year-old female and an eight-year-old male.

Following his arrest yesterday, Harris was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $65,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

42-year-old Trevor Shane Carson has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of tattooing without a license and tattooing a person under the age of 18.

At about 8:30 p.m. on July 26, Deputy Brad Stroud took a call regarding minors under the age of 18 receiving tattoos at a location on Trivette Road in Harmony. Between July 1 and July 14, Trevor Shane Carson allegedly tattooed two 12-year-old females. Authorities say Carson is not licensed by the Iredell County Health Department.

Following an investigation, warrants were issued and Carson was arrested yesterday (July 29) without incident. Bond was set at $2,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for August 31.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 11:24

Police Investigate Vehicle Theft at YMCA

Hickory Police are investigating a larceny and motor vehicle theft at the YMCA in Hickory.

At about 7:45 Monday evening (July 27), Officers responded to 701 1st Street N.W. The victim reported that someone had taken her gym bag from the workout room at the YMCA. Items in the bag included a wallet, credit cards, bankcards, a computer and car keys.

The victim went to check the car and found that it was no longer in parking lot.

Surveillance video showed a white female with brown hair in her late twenties. The suspect was seated on a bench as the victim entered the gym. The suspect followed the victim, took the bag and exited the gym.

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

20-year-old Carlos Zavata Renteria, Jr. of Taylorsville was arrested by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (July 28) on one count of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree rape.

On Sunday (July 26), Sheriff’s Investigators were called to a residence off of Old Wilkesboro Road in Taylorsville. The homeowner told Officers that two Hispanic males had illegally entered her residence during the early morning hours. She said one of the men assaulted her in her bed.

The victim went to Iredell Memorial Hospital where she was examined, treated and released. She was able to identify her assailant.

Following his arrest, Renteria was placed in the Alexander County Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond. A District Court date was set for Monday, August 3.

The other Hispanic male is currently being sought by authorities. Investigators believe his first name is Jose.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 10:15

Lincolnton Man Wins $100K Prize in NCEL

William Alvey of Lincolnton has won a $100,000 prize in the N.C. Education Lottery’s Mega Bucks game. Alvey, who owns and runs Bill’s Scooters, has observed a tradition of purchasing a lottery ticket every time he stops for gas. He bought the winning $5 ticket at the Kingsway store on North Aspen Street in Lincolnton.

After state and federal taxes were withheld, Alvey received a check for $69,251.54. Alvey plans to use the money to help others and will give 10% to his church. He said he and his wife might take some small trips around North Carolina and they’ll buy a new recliner. Alvey also intends to add some new chrome to his 1983 Honda Goldwing motorcycle.

Alvey says he intends to keep playing the lottery.

As of Tuesday afternoon, three more $100,000 top prizes remain to be claimed in the Mega Bucks game.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 12:01

SWATTING Incident Reported in Newton

At 10:30 Saturday night (July 25), Newton Police dispatchers forwarded a call to Catawba County Communications. The caller identified himself as Sean Prince of Whitegate Lane in Newton. The caller said he had shot and killed his girlfriend with a shotgun and said he had his parents tied up in the bathroom. He said he was thinking about shooting his parents. He said he needed to speak with a hostage negotiator if authorities didn’t want him to kill his parents. The caller said he would be waiting to meet the negotiator at the front door.

Catawba County Deputies, the Sheriff’s STAR (Special Tactics & Response) Team and negotiators responded to the scene. Negotiators made contact with the family and quickly suspected that something was wrong with the call. Negotiators had the family come outside, where they were detained. The residence was searched to verify that no homicide had occurred. The call was proven to be a hoax.

Sean Prince told Officers that he is a gamer and had been live-streaming on Twitch (an online community for gamers) before the incident occurred. He told authorities that hoax SWAT calls are referred to as SWATTING. SWATTING occurs when someone gains access to a victim’s name and address and calls in a hoax incident to the victim’s local jurisdiction, eliciting a SWAT response to the victim’s home.

SWATTING has occurred in other jurisdictions around the United States.

30-year-old Justin Scott Harvell of Lynn Mountain Road in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday (July 27) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of possessing cocaine.

He was taken into custody without incident at the Total Convenience Market on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Following his arrest, Harvell was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for tomorrow in Newton.

22-year-old Daniel Scott McCallum of 31st Avenue Court N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon (July 27) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of possessing methamphetamine.

He was taken into custody at a location on Highway 70 S.W. in the Long View area. Following his arrest, McCallum was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Newton.

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26-year-old Graham Wilson Kiziah of 21st Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 6:37 last night (July 27) on one count of common law robbery and two counts of robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons. All the charges are felonies. Kiziah is the suspect in two robberies earlier this month at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina on 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory’s Viewmont area, plus another robbery at the same location yesterday.

The first two incidents occurred on July 11 & 12. In each case, a white male entered the restaurant, approached the register and presented a note, which he then took back. The note contained threatening language and implied that the suspect was armed. He also made verbal threats. The man never displayed a weapon. In those incidents, the suspect left the restaurant with an undisclosed amount of money.

Just after 6:30 yesterday, the same suspect entered the restaurant and demanded money. He did not present a note. As the suspect was given an undisclosed sum of cash, a Salsarita’s employee ran to the door and locked it. As the suspect attempted to leave the building, a restaurant patron grabbed the suspect from behind and took him to the ground.

An off-duty Hickory Police Officer, David Freeman, had just eaten at the restaurant and was in the parking lot when he saw the scuffle, which by then involved a Salsarita’s employee, the restaurant patron and the suspect. Officer Freeman entered and joined briefly in the struggle, which ended when the suspect was taken into custody. No significant injuries were reported.

According to Police, customers in the restaurant gave a round of applause as the suspect was subdued.

The investigation is ongoing. Police are currently working with Salsarita’s owners in reviewing surveillance footage.

Following his arrest, Kiziah was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $175,000 secured bond. He will make a first appearance in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

Monday, 27 July 2015 14:16

Two Arrested on Felony Cocaine Charges

28-year-old Shonniel Gary Vinson Blackburn of 3rd Street Place S.W. and 27-year-old Raymond Donte Sims of Catawba Valley Boulevard S.E., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (July 25) on one felony count each for possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count each for possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

They were arrested when Officers in the area of the Silver Springs Terrace apartment complex on 20th Street N.E. saw Blackburn walk quickly from a vehicle into an apartment. Officers approached the vehicle, occupied by Sims, and smelled marijuana.

A subsequent search turned up $1,356 on Sims’ person and 1.6 grams of cocaine and 1.3 grams of marijuana in the vehicle. Officers then found Blackburn in the apartment and took both men into custody without incident at 30 minutes past midnight. Neither suspect admitted responsibility for the controlled substances.

They were both jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $10,000, secured. Both have since been released. First appearances in District Court were set for today (July 27) in Newton.