The Charlotte Division of the FBI is seeking assistance to identify an unknown suspect believed to be responsible for robbing five banks in five different towns in North Carolina. The FBI is working with the Hickory Police Department, the Mebane Police Department, the Mocksville Police Department, the Newton Police Department, and the Durham Police Department.
The banks robbed are as follows: BB&T at 2527 North Carolina Highway 127 South in Hickory on April 13. State Employees’ Credit Union at 1900 South Fifth Street in Mebane on April 18. BB&T on Yadkinville Road in Mocksville on April 24. First Citizens Bank at 11 South College Avenue in Newton on April 26. And State Employees Credit Union, on Ben Franklin Blvd. in Durham on April 28.
In each robbery, the suspect wore a ball cap. He is described as a black male with a dark complexion, in his mid-50’s, 5-5”-5’7”, with a thin build. Anyone with information that may help identify this suspect should call the FBI at 704-672-6100 or the other local police departments investigating these robberies.
The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC has confirmed a tornado southeast of Newton on Monday (May 1) at approximately 4:00 p.m. The radar indicated circulation in two places when analyzed following reports of damage by Catawba County Emergency Management and eye witness accounts. No injuries have been reported.
On Tuesday (May 2) Catawba County Emergency Management, NC Emergency Management and the National Weather Service completed a survey of the damaged areas and found many moderate to large sized trees down, uprooted, or snapped. Most building damage was caused by trees falling. Some roof, siding, and window damage was also found.
Most of the damage was from straight-line winds, but in two areas an EF0 tornado touchdown were found. The tornado touched down twice along a 3 mile path approximately 3.5 miles southeast of Newton. The first area of touchdown was just off Jack Whitener Rd. and Sipe Rd. for a distance of 100 yards. The second touchdown occurred near Smyre Farm Rd. just south of NC Highway 16 for a distance of 250 yards.
In total, five structures were damaged, two residential structures are uninhabitable and one maintenance garage was destroyed. The other structures will be livable when repairs are completed.
Catawba County Emergency Management and Building Inspections assisted the City of Newton Fire Department immediately following the event to assure the safety of the residents and structural integrity of the damaged homes. Additional support came from North Carolina DOT to clear trees and reopen roads.
48-year-old John Dale "Butch" McQuestor of Hubbard Street in Lincolnton was arrested Tuesday (May 2) by Lincolnton Police Officers. He's charged with three felony counts apiece of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine and sale of methamphetamine. McQuestor was taken into custody without incident at his residence.
The warrants were the result of a six week investigation into McQuestor after the Lincolnton Police Department. The investigation began after police received numerous complaints about possible illegal drug activity involving the suspect. A news release says the investigation yielded the confiscation of a significant amount of meth with a street value of between $500 and $750.
McQuestor received a $20,000 secured bond and was placed in the Lincoln County Jail. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (Wednesday, May 3).
31-year-old Felicia Marie Baird of West Plum Street in Stanley, N.C. was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:30 Tuesday afternoon (May 2) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. She was also charged with misdemeanor unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The warrant for unauthorized use was issued on January 30 of this year.
Baird was wanted by the jailer in Clayton, Georgia in Rabun County for failure to appear on a charge of possession of dangerous drugs. That charge dates back to September of 2015.
Baird was taken into custody without incident at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 in Hickory. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $81,000 secured bond. Court dates were scheduled yesterday (May 3) and for May 23, both in Newton.
28-year-old Adrian Durrand “Big A” Johnson, Jr. of 5th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 8:30 last night (May 2) on one felony count of speeding to elude arrest.
Events leading to his arrest began yesterday as Police initiated a traffic stop at 8th Avenue Drive S.W., near 4th Street S.W. The suspect vehicle, driven by Johnson, failed to stop and continued on 4th Street S.W. Officers pursued the vehicle until Johnson stopped on “C” Avenue S.E. At that time, Johnson was taken into custody without further incident.
Johnson was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $600,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
36-year-old Kimberly Deanna Sechrist was arrested Tuesday (May 3) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Sechrist was placed in jail in Morganton under $60,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, May 3).
38-year-old Brandon Lee Riddle of SW Harrisburg Drive in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (May 2) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. Riddle was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $3,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (May 4).
22-year-old Mckinley Garland Yoder of Townsend Farm Lane in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (May 2) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Yoder was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $7,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (May 4).
A man previously arrested on sex offense charges in Iredell County faces numerous additional counts after further investigation. As WHKY previously reported, 39-year-old Donald Ray Fitzgerald of Deer Chase Circle in Statesville was arrested in April and charged with two felony counts each of sexual offense with a child by an adult offender and statutory rape of a child by an adult offender.
On April 19, 2017 a report was filed with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office in reference to an individual being sexually assaulted by her family member. The report was assigned to Detective Patrick Dixson of the Special Victim’s Unit. The juvenile was interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Several additional witnesses were identified and interviewed.
As a result of further information gathered, Fitzgerald has been charged with additional offenses. He's charged with 34 counts apiece of first degree statutory rape of a minor and first degree statutory sexual offense with a minor, 68 counts of rape or sexual act with a victim 13, 14, or 15-years-old, two counts apiece of statutory rape of a minor less than 15-years-old and statutory sexual offense of a minor less than 15-years-old, and 13 counts apiece of second degree forcible rape and second degree forcible sexual offense.
Fitzgerald was processed for the additional charges at the Iredell County Detention Center. Bond was set at five-million dollars. District Court appearances are scheduled for May 10 and May 22.
37-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Mays Jr. of Taylorsville was arrested Tuesday (May 2) by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two felony counts apiece of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering, along with single counts of felony possession of schedule II controlled substance, felony larceny of a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He's also charged with failure to appear on a child support warrant out of Catawba County.
On Tuesday at approximately 10:41AM, a call came into Alexander County Sheriff’s Office Communications in reference to a breaking and entering in progress on Rocky Springs Road. Information was received that a red Nissan pick-up truck was seen at a residence, with two subjects carrying items out of the residence and loading them onto the truck. The vehicle left with a push-mower visible in the back of the truck, traveling east on Rocky Springs Road.
The suspect vehicle was spotted by officers, which then led to a short chase. The vehicle wrecked and hit a tree, disabling it, on Jim Millsaps Road. Occupants jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a wooded area, where one subject was taken into custody. Other patrol officers, including the K-9 unit, responded to the area in search of the second suspect. The second suspect was never located, but has been identified. The name of that suspect along with a description were not included in a news release issued by the Alexander County Sheriff's Office. All of the items in the suspect’s vehicle had been reported stolen during two Break-ins in the area.
Mays was placed in jail under a $70,000 secured bond, along with a $500 cash bond for the Failure to Appear. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (May 8).
36-year-old Cody Dale Adkins of NE Lower Creek Drive in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (May 2) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of posession of a firearm by a felon and one felony count of possession of methamphetamine. Adkins was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for May 23.
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (May 2).
One of the items on last night's agenda was a departmental report on the consideration of guidelines to allow permitted mobile food vendors to operate in certain City of Hickory parks. Multiple citizens spoke during the public comment period about the proposed food truck policy. Parks and Recreation Director Mack McLeod presented the report. The policy would be in effect for Glen Hilton, Henry Fork, Kiwanis, Neill Clark, Stanford Park, and Taft Broome Park. Two mobile food vendors would be allowed at each park.
City Council discussed various aspects of the policy, in particular, the fee structure. Councilmembers said they would like to see food trucks with more access on public property, rather than limiting them to parks. They also seem to concur that vendor fees should be minimal. City Manager Warren Wood said that staff would do some additional work and come back to Council with an amended policy. The proposed policy can be viewed at the City of Hickory's website in the City Council agenda for last night's meeting.
Another citizen spoke during the public comment period and expressed her concern about a blind spot on a road in Viewmont. Public Services will speak with her about her concerns. Also during last nightr's meeting, City Manager Wood recognized Kevin Greer, the new Public Services Director. Mayor Rudy Wright recognized National Public Works Week and presented a proclamation to Public Services employees. Councilwoman Jill Patton presented a proclamation for National Police Week, and Councilman Hank Guess presented a proclamation for Building Safety Month.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a $12.4 million contract to resurface about six miles of Interstate 85 in Gaston County. The work will take place between mile marker 22 and the Mecklenburg County line. Some bridges along that section of the interstate will also be rehabilitated.
Blythe Construction, Inc. of Charlotte was awarded the contract. Work can start as soon as this week (the week of May 1, 2017), with a completion date of August 30, 2018.
The project is one of 15 recently awarded by the NCDOT. The projects are worth $81.3 million and were awarded to the lowest qualified bidders as required by state law.
29-year-old Johnathan Laidley Boyd and 33-year-old John Wesley Harding were both arrested Monday (May 1) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Both suspects were placed in jail in Morganton under $50,000 secured bond. They're each scheduled to appear in court Wednesday (May 3).
32-year-old Matthew Dean Lail was arrested Monday (May 1) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of speeding to elude arrest and non-forced breaking and entering. Lail was placed in jail in Morganton under $45,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in Superior Court Monday. A District Court appearance is scheduled for May 9.
39-year-old Shannon Denise Knighton of Forest Hill Court in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (May 1) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony probation violation and felony probation violation out of county. Knighton was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for Monday.
44-year-old Felecia Hedrick Salvati of Hawk Drive in Claremont was arrested Monday (May 1) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged on bills of indictment with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, posession of a weapon of mass destruction, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Salvati was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $40,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, May 2).
35-year-old Toni Lynne Ducharme of NE Sunrise Circle in Lenoir was arrested Monday (May 1) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Ducharme was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for May 22.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is seeking your assistance locating a stolen truck. The photo included with this story is the exact make, model, and color of the stolen truck. It also has the same wheels as the stolen truck. The truck was stolen from I-40 Used Auto Parts off of Bethel Road in Morganton, on the night of Wednesday April 26. There is light body damage on the right fender and front right door. The front grill is black and the rear seat is missing from the truck’s interior. When stolen, the truck was displaying a dealer license plate on the rear of the vehicle.
Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of this truck is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 828-764-9505. Callers can choose to remain anonymous. You can also call Morganton/Burke Crime Stoppers tip line at 828-437-3333, or submit tips anonymously via the internet through the Burke County Sheriff’s Office website. Anonymous tips through Crimestoppers that lead to the recovery of this truck may be eligible for a cash reward.
District Attorney David Learner announced Monday (May 1), during Catawba County Superior Court that the State will not pursue the death penalty in the murder case against 49-year-old Jeffrey Dwayne Hoppes of Maiden.
Hoppes is accused of murder in the death of 45-year-old Angela Smith Tramble, also of Maiden. The incident occurred March 7 at a residence on Topaz Drive in Maiden. According to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, the suspect, who was Ms. Tramble's boyfriend, sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face. Hoppes is being held without bond. His case remains under investigation by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.