FOR MORE REGULAR DEPARTMENT NEWS AND UPDATES, VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AT:
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR POLICE CADETS!!!
***NOTE – IF YOU INTEND TO APPLY ON DECEMBER 22ND AFTER 3 PM OR DECEMBER 23RD, PLEASE EMAIL ASSISTANT CHIEF O’CONNOR AT firstname.lastname@example.org***
Have you ever wanted to be a police officer?!?!
> BE PAID WHILE YOU BECOME ONE WITH THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!!
The Locust Police Department (LPD) is NOW accepting applications for Police Cadets to become Officers with the Locust Police Department!!! Qualified applicants who are chosen will receive salary compensation to while completing Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) at Stanly Community College beginning February 8th, 2023!!! Upon successful completion of BLET, you are guaranteed a position as a Locust Patrol Officer!!!
APPLICATION PERIOD ENDS DECEMBER 23RD!!!!
For more information on our Police Cadet program and how you can apply, direct message, contact 704-888-4744 or email Assistant Chief O’Connor at email@example.com.
See our full page ad below for City of Locust benefits for Locust Police Officers!!!
BE A PART OF OUR TEAM!! APPLY TODAY!!
2022 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
***THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT IS STILL HIRING PATROL OFFICERS!!!***
> Evaluated Based On Experience, Training, And Education
> Year 2 – Up To 9% ($43,680 To $47,611, $52,000 To $56,680)*
> Up To 5% For Foreign Language Proficiency
> $3,500 Annual Childcare Or Education Reimbursement*
FORMER LOCUST OFFICERS RECOGNIZED AS “HONOR ALUMNI”
At the Locust Police Department, we feel it’s very important to always remember and honor those that came before us and laid the foundation for the department, contributing greatly to how we function and thrive as a department today. We have bigger goals for those honors and remembrance in the near future however for now, we are proud to begin honoring some of our department’s “honor alumni” in our annual trading card series. For this year’s edition, we chose Chief of Police Steven “Smitty” Smith and the first official retiree from the Locust Police Department; Captain Charles L. Connell.
We were privileged yesterday to present Captain Connell with his very own trading card to recognize his place as a Locust Police Department Honor Alumni member. Captain Connell is recognized as the first officer in the history of the department to retire after a full career with LPD. Captain Connell worked as a part-time or full-time officer from 1981 – 2012 with the Locust Police Department and Locust/Stanfield Police Department. Captain Connell is also a United States’ Army veteran who proudly served our country in the Vietnam War. Captain Connell still resides in the western Stanly County area with his wife and is still extremely active in the western Stanly County VFW.
Congratulations Captain Connell and thank you for all of your contributions to our agency. The Locust Police Department officially recognizes and salutes your service as an Honor Alumni member of the Locust Police Department!
CITY OF LOCUST CRIMINAL ACTIVITY ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON
Need to catch up on what’s been happening this summer in Locust regarding department and criminal activity? Check out our monthly statistics page on the Locust Police Department website! NOW updated through September!
We at the Locust Police Department see from time to time the opinions of those who comment on various stories on social media regarding the growth and traffic in Locust and how it reflects in our department’s activities and the criminal activity occurring in Locust. So included in September’s report is a 5 year comparison of the first 9 months of the year for this current year and the four most recent years. Here is a brief analysis:
1) Total incident reports and reported offenses/incident types are where growth in the last five years is most evident however this accounts for ALL reported calls, the vast majority of which are non-criminal. In short, our department may be responding to more calls for service overall, but when viewed in comparison to reported property crime calls and drug/alcohol related calls, it does not mean our officers are responding to significantly more calls related to criminal activity which is a GREAT thing!
2) As just stated, property crime reports for 2022 are in line with reported numbers in each of the last five years that have shown an up and down trend depending on the year. The same can be said for drug/alcohol reports however in 2022 we are currently tied for a five-year low in reports. Assault reports have always been low in Locust and in 2022 we continue to stay in line with that trend.
3) Patrols (businesses, neighborhoods, residences) completed by Locust officers remain high in 2022 though have been slightly lower than the prior two years due to more strategic patrolling strategies for fuel conservation.
4) Arrest charges in 2022 may seem significantly higher than in 2018 however this statistic is misleading and should be viewed more in comparison to 2020 and 2021 where the numbers are similar. It is certainly evident that an increased activity volume has resulted in more arrests made, but for many years prior to 2020, the department had issues with accurate statistical reporting for arrest charges due to duplicate arrest reporting and subsequent attempts to fix those issues that resulted in data that was not always accurate.
5) Citation charges and warnings issued are also down some compared to January-September from a year ago due to some efforts on fuel conservation as well as some staffing-related factors but are still in line with the prior three years before that (2018-2020). Our department did put a renewed emphasis on traffic enforcement in September which resulted in a monthly high for 2022 in citation charges, speeding charges, and warnings issued.
6) There has been some belief that the growth and traffic in Locust has resulted in a greater number of traffic crashes reported however the statistics in the last five years do not seem to indicate that belief. The number reported so far in 2022 is less than what was reported in the same time frame in 2018 and in 2019.
7) Finally, in department incident clearance, our officers have shown great efficiency and diligent work in clearing reported incidents. The overall incident clearance percentage does also include non-criminal calls which always results in a very high percentage of clearance, but our department’s successful clearance of confirmed criminal incidents and property crime/fraud incidents also remains very high. Compared to the prior four years, our department is at a five-year high on total incident clearance and confirmed criminal incident clearance, and just under a five-year high on property crime/fraud clearance.
The Locust Police Department takes great pride in the jobs that we do and we are honored to serve the citizens and visitors of the City of Locust!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES NEW PATROL OFFICER, DEPARTMENT TRAINING ACHIEVEMENTS
The Locust Police Department is proud to announce recent training achievements and a recent hire to the department’s patrol division.
In the months of August and September, the following officers completed various training classes in different law enforcement disciplines:
Detective Jared Smith – Death Investigations, Sexual Assault Investigations, ABC/ALE Training
Officer Ryan Tran-Thompson also completed a Field Training Officer course to become a certified training officer for the department which earned his FTO commendation as part of the Locust Police Department commendation program. Officer Tran-Thompson is the seventh current member of the department to be certified as a training officer.
Officer Adam Hartsell satisfactorily completed his field training program with the department and is now working as part of our patrol division on Sergeant Chad Whitley’s rotation.
Finally, we are pleased to announce the newest member of our department’s patrol division, Officer Timmy Hartsell. Officer Hartsell was born in Stanfield and grew up in the Midland area. He has been in law enforcement since 2009 with the majority of his law enforcement career spent as a patrol officer with the Albemarle Police Department. Hartsell also worked as a special deputy for the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
Officer Hartsell has completed more than 1,200 hours of training in his career including traffic crash and motorcycle crash reconstructionist training, SWAT operator certification, and ARIDE. Officer Hartsell is also a certified general instructor and has earned his intermediate law enforcement certification.
Outside of law enforcement, Timmy enjoys spending time with family and friends, and drag racing (the legal kind). Officer Hartsell stated he chose the Locust Police Department because “I had heard many great things about the agency and it is close to where I was raised so I’m familiar with the area. I look forward to furthering my career with the Locust Police Department”.
Officer Hartsell has already completed the department’s lateral transfer field training program and he is currently working on Sergeant Brandon Stancil’s patrol rotation.
***REMINDER!!! LPD SCHOOL SUPPLY DONATION DRIVE FOR LOCUST ELEMENTARY THROUGH AUGUST 19TH!!!***
The Locust Police Department is currently collecting school supplies for the students and staff at Locust Elementary School. This collection drive will run through August 19th!!! So far we have had a GREAT turn-out of support and gracious donations! Please help us help those we serve with donations of much needed school supplies (See lists for grade specific needs!)
We would also like to thank our great partners from the Locust Wal-Mart location who made a donation of school supplies today from their own school supply collection bin. As always, we thank them for their partnership and support!
COFFEE WITH THE COPS JUNE 22ND!!!
Wednesday June 22nd at 10 am in the Locust Government Center Joel Huneycutt room City Council chambers, the Locust Police Department will be hosting our first “Coffee With The Cops” event! Our first event will feature:
– A session where you can ask questions and address any concerns you have.
If you have any questions about this event, please email Chief Shew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you there, but remember that space is limited! If you plan to attend, please let us know and we will save you a spot!
****LATERAL TRANSFER OFFICERS WELCOME!!!****
The Locust Police Department (LPD) is accepting applications for the position of Patrol Officer (PO1 or PO2). Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in the interview process, which includes (but is not limited to) extensive oral interviews and background investigation, as well as medical and psychological assessments. The minimum starting salary for entry level officers is $38,000 and higher starting salary is possible for all entry level and lateral officers based on prior experience, training, and education. The City of Locust is one of the fastest growing cities in Stanly County and North Carolina. Apply today!
Minimum Job Requirements
License: Valid North Carolina driver’s license
City Of Locust Benefits
– Take home vehicle if you reside within reasonable distance of Locust*
*ASK FOR MORE DETAILS!!!
Application Procedure & Inquiries
By Email: email@example.com
LPD TRAFFIC/SPEEDING ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION FOR UNDERSTANDING
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES NEW OFFICER AND HONORS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO STANLY COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT
06/09/22 – Last night the Locust Police Department celebrated a very special Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) graduation at Stanly Community College for the beginning of a very special career in law enforcement and the end of another very accomplished career of immense contributions to the Stanly County law enforcement community and multiple other jurisdictions.
Our department congratulates all of last night’s graduates but particularly Cadet Adam Hartsell who is now the newest member of the Locust Police Department. Hartsell completed all BLET requirements and recently passed his state law enforcement certification test. He was also voted as one of the class presidents for his class and last night was awarded the program’s Officer Damon Smith Memorial Award for overall excellence and leadership in the class. Adam has started with Locust in-office as we await confirmation from the state to be officially sworn as an officer.
What is most significant about Hartsell’s completion of BLET and the beginning of his career with the Locust Police Department is that he is the son of retired Locust Chief of Police Frank Hartsell who worked his entire career for Locust. We are very proud of Adam carrying on his family tradition and we are so happy he is a member of our department. Great job Adam!
Also last night, the Locust Police Department celebrated the culmination of an outstanding career contributing to the development and training of so many law enforcement officers in Stanly County and surrounding areas. BLET Director Christie (Almond) Buchanan presided over her final BLET graduation after serving in her position as director since 2009 and prior to that as an assistant director. In her tenure as director, Ms. Buchanan facilitated the development, training, and graduation of 19 current or former Locust police officers and our department wanted to honor her for those contributions to our department’s success over the last 13 years. Thank you so much Christie for all you have done for the Locust Police Department and the Stanly County law enforcement community. We hope you enjoy every minute of a well-earned retirement!
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Time: 1:00 pm
Point Of Contact: Chief of Police Jeff B. Shew (firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-888-4744)
On Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 8:42 pm, a Locust patrol officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop of a silver convertible passenger car driven by Mr. Michael Angelo Gales, 37, of Locust after witnessing multiple traffic violations in the area of North Central Avenue and Bethel Church Road. The Locust officer pursued the vehicle to the Whispering Hills subdivision near the intersection of Meadowcreek Village Drive and Whispering Hills Drive where Mr. Gales stopped and exited his vehicle. Shortly after, there was an exchange of gunfire between Mr. Gales and the Locust officer with Mr. Gales being struck. Fire and EMS were requested to respond, and emergency aid was rendered. Mr. Gales was airlifted to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center where as of 9:30 am on June 1st, he was listed in critical condition. The involved Locust officer was not struck by gunfire.
Per Locust Police Department policy, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was requested to conduct an investigation into the incident as an independent impartial outside agency. Also, per standard policy, the involved officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the SBI’s investigation and our department’s administrative investigation. The identity of the involved officer will not be released at this time.
Due to the ongoing investigation by the Bureau, any additional questions should be directed to their office at AGrube@ncsbi.gov. The Locust Police Department will also be pursuing all applicable criminal charges against Mr. Gales for the incident. Details of those charges will also be released at a later time.
PARKING ORDINANCE REMINDER
As a reminder to Locust citizens and their visitors, there are prohibited parking signs in Locust subdivisions and neighborhoods where on-street parking is prohibited and violations of that prohibition has brought complaints and concerns. These signs, and particularly the verbiage of the signs satisfy a requirement in our city ordinance which prohibits on-street parking. Per Locust city ordinance, parking on the streets of neighborhoods or subdivisions in Locust where these signs are displayed is a violation of city ordinance which can result in a fine, the vehicle being towed, or both (71.13). These signs are not new and have been in place for nearly two years, and the city ordinance on parking as written in its original form has been in place for many years.
The Locust Police Department does not conduct dedicated patrol operations to seek out parking violators however if we do receive complaints about on-street parking in violation of the ordinance, and the complaints are due to safety concerns related to children playing etc., Locust officers will take appropriate enforcement actions ranging from warnings to citations to the towing of the vehicle. Any actions taken are at the discretion of the patrolling officers and are based on the witnessed violation of the ordinance that may also be related to complaints we have received. In summary, if you are parking on the street and you have not been given a warning or citation, that does not mean you are not in violation of the ordinance.
We also remind our residents that free temporary parking permits are available at the Locust Government Center for on-street parking in the event you are having a party or gathering. Please contact 704-888-4744 Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm to apply for a temporary parking permit or if you have additional questions about temporary parking permits or City of Locust parking ordinances.
The Locust Police Department is not responsible for the passing or implementation of any city ordinances including parking. Our responsibility is only the enforcement of the ordinances which we try to limit where it is possible to do so and to do so safely.
If you have concerns or issues with established and codified parking ordinances in Locust, there are Locust City Council meetings that include public comment periods the second Thursday of each month (Exception is this month due to early voting. Meeting is tomorrow, 05/19). Meetings begin at 7 pm at the Locust Government Center.
TWO LOCUST OFFICERS RECEIVE INTERMEDIATE CERTIFICATION
The Locust Police Department congratulates Officers Kyle Fairfield and Ryan Tran-Thompson on receiving their Intermediate Law Enforcement Certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. This certification is the second highest regular certification a North Carolina law enforcement officer can achieve, and recognizes dedicated service, education, and completed training hours.
Officer Fairfield earned his certification due to previously graduating with an associate’s degree from Central Piedmont Community College, having at least 4 years of law enforcement experience, and completing at least 320 hours of non-mandated law enforcement training. Officer Tran-Thompson earned his certification due to previously graduating with a bachelor’s in criminal justice degree from UNC-Charlotte, having at least 2 years of law enforcement experience, and completing at least 160 hours of non-mandated law enforcement training.
Both Officers Fairfield and Tran-Thompson are 6-year law enforcement veterans who previously served with CMPD, where they received hundreds of hours of logged training. Officer Fairfield served as a trained SWAT team member with CMPD and Officer Tran-Thompson was certified as a general instructor and Taser instructor.
In addition to the Intermediate Certification they both received, both were also awarded their Intermediate Certification commendation from the department.
We are extremely proud of Officer Fairfield and Officer Tran-Thompson’s accomplishments and all they contribute to our success and community policing at the Locust Police Department. Congratulations Kyle and Ryan!
ASSISTANT CHIEF O’CONNOR RECEIVES DECADE OF SERVICE COMMENDATION
May 3rd, 2022 marked Assistant Chief Of Police Kevin O’Connor’s 10-year anniversary with the Locust Police Department. This achievement of loyalty and service earned Chief O’Connor his 10-year commendation from the department.
Chief O’Connor has served in law enforcement since 2007 and previously worked for the Queen’s University Police Department and the Badin Police Department where he earned the rank of Sergeant. In Chief O’Connor’s 10 years with LPD, he has held the positions of Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, and Detective Sergeant before his promotion to Assistant Chief Of Police in July of 2020.
Chief O’Connor is resoundingly respected by Locust officers as a department leader, mentor, and “go to guy” in nearly every circumstance or situation. His leadership and the respect he has garnered with the department earned him two nominations as Officer of the Year in 2021 despite not being eligible for the award, and he was awarded a distinguished service in leadership commendation by Chief Shew earlier this year. Chief O’Connor has also received multiple other commendations in his career at Locust including a Chief’s Award commendation for his role as co-coordinator and co-creator of the Western Stanly County “Shop With A Cop” program.
We are very proud of Chief O’Connor and his service to Locust as one of our finest officers. Congratulations Chief!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT HONORED BY WAL-MART STORE 5747
The Locust Police Department thanks our friends at the Locust Wal-Mart for thinking of us during this 2022 National Police Week and for bringing us a HUGE cake along with Chick-Fil-A gift cards and a partnership recognition certificate.
Our department has enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with Wal-Mart since their opening in Locust many years ago and we have supported each other in reducing Locust retail crime through vigorous enforcement efforts.
The Locust Police Department believes in a strong enforcement message of opposition to all types of retail theft that demonstrates an equally strong opposition to all types of criminal activity in Locust, and the fantastic loss prevention associates at our Locust Wal-Mart assist us tremendously in that success.
Thank you Mitchell, Angie, and all the wonderful associates at our Locust Wal-Mart for your partnership and support!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES NEW SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER
The Locust Police Department welcomes Officer Daniel Longtin as the newest member of our agency. Officer Longtin will serve as our school resource officer at Locust Elementary School and his first day on-duty serving and protecting the students and staff was Monday May 2nd.
Daniel is a two-year veteran of the Wadesboro Police Department beginning his career there in 2020. During his tenure there he served both as a patrol officer and as a school resource officer at Wadesboro Elementary School, and Officer Longtin previously completed certification in the school resource officer training course. Officer Longtin is also an Eagle Scout and graduated with honors from Belmont Abbey College with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology.
We are extremely excited that Daniel chose the Locust Police Department to continue his career. Welcome to the LPD family Officer Daniel Longtin!!!
BASKETS FOR BADGES 2022
Our very much missed former Chief “Smitty” is still watching out for us through his family and specifically daughter Riley as she again this year coordinated her “Baskets For Badges” project in honor of her father for the officers of the Locust Police Department. Riley and Smitty’s wife Melissa made delivery on Tuesday and we were absolutely blown away by how much she was able to collect through the support of our community and businesses. The picture does no true justice to the amount of snacks, gift cards, PPE items etc. that were donated and collected for our officers. We thank Riley and the Smith family, and all of the residents and businesses that contributed so much. We are always extremely blessed to serve and protect the City of Locust, and by the support we receive every single day. Riley, your dad is very proud of you. We miss you Chief!
CORPORAL DIETZ RECEIVES DECADE OF SERVICE COMMENDATION
March 28th, 2022 marked Corporal Dwayne Dietz’s 10-year anniversary with the Locust Police Department. This achievement of loyalty and service earned Corporal Dietz his 10-year commendation from the department. In Corporal Dietz’s 10 years with LPD, he has emerged as a department leader and mentor. Since Officer of the Month awarding began in January 2020, Corporal Dietz has received the honor six times. He was also named as the inaugural Chief Steven “Smitty” Smith Officer of the Year for 2020 and was a finalist for the same award in 2021. Also since the beginning of the Locust Police Department commendation program to recognize and honor deserving Locust officers, Corporal Dietz has also been awarded a Community Service and Meritorious Conduct commendation.
We know for many of you, it seems like Corporal Dietz has been hanging around Locust much, much, much longer than 10 years, and we will tell you there are days that we feel the exact same way. Even so, we are very proud of Corporal Dietz and his service to Locust as one of our finest officers. Congratulations Dwayne!
THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CONGRATULATES FORMER CHIEF ON RETIREMENT
The Locust Police Department congratulates Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant and current Locust City Council member Mike Haigler on the successful completion of a law enforcement career spanning more than 30 years with his final shift as a full-time officer today.
For those that may not know, Lieutenant Haigler began his law enforcement career in 1988 with the Locust Police Department where he served until 2009. From 1994 until 2009 Lieutenant Haigler served as Chief of Police for Locust before continuing his career at the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office until his retirement today. Lieutenant Haigler has also served as a Locust City Council member for the last 10 years, and is currently running for the District 1 Stanly County Commissioner seat.
Lieutenant Haigler was directly responsible for the hiring of four current Locust officers including a Detective, two Patrol Sergeants, and our current Chief of Police. His contributions either as Chief of Locust or as a Locust City Council member have significantly influenced our current strategies in day to day operations, community policing, our involvement in the Governor’s Highway Safety program, school resource officer program, and K9 officer program among many other aspects.
Lieutenant Haigler, we thank you for your service and all you have contributed to the Locust Police Department, Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, and the citizens of Locust and Stanly County. You have certainly earned the phrase; “Job well done”.
LOCUST 1ST GRADER RECEIVES INAUGURAL LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD
At last night’s City Council meeting, a new yearly recognition created by the Locust Police Department was awarded to a very special and deserving young Locust citizen.
The Locust Police Department is so blessed by the amount of support and appreciation we receive from the Locust community, and the decision was made to create an annual award that recognizes an individual within the city that performs exemplary deeds or services for the city or their fellow citizens and exhibits a strong sense of selflessness, caring, and responsibility, while encompassing the values of compassion and strong morals represented in the City of Locust slogan “A City With A Soul”.
The inaugural 2021 Locust Police Department Citizen Of The Year was awarded to Locust citizen and 1st grader Autumn Huneycutt. Ms. Huneycutt last November held a porch yard sale at her house in Locust to sell her toys for the specific purpose of raising money to donate to the Locust Police Department Shop With A Cop program. At the end of the sale, Autumn presented a check for $79.00 to be utilized by the program to help children in need have a great Christmas. Additionally, Autumn’s toys that remained she donated to West Stanly Christian Ministries which would further use them to provide to those in need in our area.
Ms. Huneycutt’s actions truly personified what “A City With A Soul” means and her good deed was an extraordinary display of selflessness, caring, and responsibility for her fellow citizens and students.
The Locust Police Department congratulates Ms. Autumn Huneycutt on this very deserved recognition and for representing the very best of the City of Locust!
LOCUST ASSISTANT CHIEF RECOGNIZED WITH LEADERSHIP COMMENDATION
At last night’s Locust City Council meeting, Chief of Police Jeff Shew awarded Assistant Chief of Police Kevin O’Connor with a commendation for distinguished service in leadership. Chief O’Connor has served with the Locust Police Department since 2012 and Chief Shew remarked that whether he was in a leadership position or not, Chief O’Connor has always demonstrated a strong propensity for leadership and dependability that has consistently throughout his career earned him high respect and confidence from his fellow officers.
As Assistant Chief, O’Connor oversees or assists with every aspect of department operations and divisions, and Chief Shew stated that there is not a decision he makes without first receiving counsel and input from Chief O’Connor. He stated that Chief O’Connor deserves a tremendous amount of gratitude and appreciation for the role he plays in the success and operations of the Locust Police Department.
In 2021, despite department administration being ineligible for consideration as Officer of the Year, Chief O’Connor still received nominations from two Locust officers for that award. In those officer’s nominations, they noted that Chief O’Connor possesses great supervisor and leadership skills, goes above and beyond on every circumstance he encounters, and when approached with any issue always lends a listening ear and is willing to help any way he can.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES NEW PATROL OFFICER
The Locust Police Department welcomes Officer Ryan Tran-Thompson as the newest member of our agency. Officer Tran-Thompson will serve as a patrol officer with the department on Sergeant Chad Whitley’s patrol rotation and he began his lateral officer field training program this week.
Ryan is a six-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) beginning his career there in 2015. During his tenure there as a patrol officer he completed multiple firearms training certification courses, high risk warrant officer training, and was certified as a crisis intervention officer. Officer Tran-Thompson also is a certified general instructor and Taser instructor who consistently assisted with subject control arrest technique training and in-service training at the CMPD Academy. Ryan also holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Officer Tran-Thompson and his family reside near Locust and attend church in Locust. Ryan stated in our application process that in his connections to Locust he has a vested interest in the city and that “I would love to serve the city that my family holds in such a high regard”.
Officer Tran-Thompson attended the CMPD Academy with Locust Officer Kyle Fairfield, and upon completion of his field training Ryan will be partnered with Kyle as well. Combined they bring 12 years of high level experience and training from the city of Charlotte.
We are extremely excited that Ryan chose the Locust Police Department to continue his career. Welcome to the LPD family Officer Ryan Tran-Thompson!!!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT HONORS SERGEANT BRANDON STANCIL AS RECEIPIENT OF 2021 CHIEF STEVEN “SMITTY” SMITH OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD, RECOGNIZES OTHER OFFICERS
At the February Locust City Council meeting the Locust Police Department honored several officers for their contributions during the 2021 calendar year.
Corporal Dwayne Dietz and Patrol Officer Josh Gardner were both recognized as Officer of the Year finalists. Corporal Dietz was a finalist for the second straight year after being named the inaugural Chief Steven “Smitty” Smith Officer of the Year in 2020. Corporal Dietz was recognized for his enforcement contributions during the year as well as his role spearheading the effort and preparation to restart a department K9 program. Corporal Dietz has since October been K9 handler to his partner Rico and has completed numerous hours of K9 training. Corporal Dietz was honored as Officer of the Month in May and August and also received multiple citizen commendations throughout the year. Corporal Dietz was also awarded a commendation for meritorious conduct in August for his role in an at-home birth and the saving of the newborn baby’s life.
Officer Gardner’s statistical contributions during the year ranked him fifth overall in the department, and he displayed incredible calmness and proficiency well beyond his experience level in a July confrontation with a suicidal subject armed with a gun that resulted in the suspect’s safe arrest with no injury to other officers or property. Officer Gardner also received multiple citizen commendations during 2021 for his community policing and service efforts, and he was named Officer of the Month in July. Officer Gardner was also nominated by two fellow officers as Officer of the Year.
The main honoree of the evening was 15-year Locust Police Department veteran Sergeant Brandon Stancil who was named the 2021 Chief Steven “Smitty” Smith Officer of the Year. Sergeant Stancil who is tasked with providing oversight and supervision to four department patrol officers still ranked in the top three of the department in some enforcement statistic measures and was second overall in the department in successful incident clearance. Sergeant Stancil was also named Officer of the Month one time during the year and was nominated by five fellow officers for Officer of the Year which was the most in the department. Officers who nominated Sergeant Stancil all stated how great a representative he is for law enforcement and the Locust Police Department, he was commended for his positive and motivating leadership style, and complimented for his pro-active approach to law enforcement despite being in a supervisory role.
Chief Shew added that “Sergeant Stancil has developed into an outstanding veteran leader, a mentor for younger officers, and he is a great representative and foundational member of the current Locust Police Department. He very much earned and deserved this great honor.”
The Locust Police Department is so proud of the jobs that every one of our officers do in contributing to the success of our agency and the support we enjoy in the community. We are also so proud of the recognized officers for the additional contributions that they made that warranted these honors.
LOCUST OFFICER COMPLETES SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION
Recently, Locust Police Department Sergeant Chad Whitley successfully completed a challenging specialized instructor certification course at the North Carolina Justice Academy to be recognized as a certified law enforcement firearms instructor with the state. This 81-hour training course required Sergeant Whitley to successfully perform pre-qualification requirements including scoring 95 or better on a qualification firearms course. Sergeant Whitley then attended a two-week instructor course at the Justice Academy which required completion of practical exercises and a satisfactory score on the state firearm’s instructor exam.
With this certification, Sergeant Whitley is now certified to provide firearms instruction and annual qualifying supervision to the Locust Police Department, other law enforcement agencies, and BLET students. Sergeant Whitley also received his department firearm’s instructor commendation as part of the Locust Police Department Commendation Program. Sergeant Whitley had previously completed general instructor certification in 2020.
Sergeant Whitley has served with the Locust Police Department since 2009 and is also a United States Army veteran of the 1/501st Airborne Infantry. Congratulations Chad and job well done!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CRIME ADVISORY CONTACT LIST
Are you a Locust resident or business owner that wants to be notified of crime trends and activities in Locust that may affect you?!?! Join the Locust Police Department Crime Advisory Contact List and hear personally from Chief Shew or other Locust officers when criminal activity occurs in Locust that you need to be aware of! As part of the contact list you will receive:
– NO Spam!!
Send a contact list request email to Chief Shew at email@example.com! If you were on our previous contact list utilized years ago, please resend a request email to confirm you still want to be included.
The best way for us all to mitigate criminal activity in Locust is through partnership and communication. We are ALL invested in the safety of our community!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES 2021 STATISTICS AND ANALYSIS REPORT
The Locust Police Department is pleased to present the 2021 annual statistics and analysis report as well as the 2021 department clearance statistics report which are NOW available on the Locust Police Department website (Link at bottom of post).
Both reports showed very positive data and results for the year with Chief Shew remarking in his final analysis, “Numbers continued to show an overall low daily incidence of larceny, fraud, and assault activity and near zero incidents of violent crime year to year. The final numbers do indicate that in 2021 despite a rapidly growing city, Locust remained a very safe city with an overall low volume of crime and criminal activities.”
The highlights of the reports:
– Also included in the report is a six-year comparison of numbers from 2016 – 2021.
– In comparison to 2020, there was a small percentage increase in overall (+1.1%) and small percentage decreases in criminal (-2.4%) and property crime clearance (-3.4%). Compared to 2018, in 2021 there were positive clearance increases in two categories and a small decrease in one category (Overall – +1%, Criminal – +6.8%, Property Crime – -1%).
2021 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
LIMITED EDITION LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT TRADING CARDS NOW AVAILABLE
The Locust Police Department is extremely excited to announce the release of an annual trading card series that recognizes the officers of the Locust Police Department and the work they do in the Locust community. This 4-5 card set will be released each year and is another way for our department to connect with our community and build solid policy/citizen relationships. Some cards and sets will be given by our officers to community residents, children, and those they interact with in their day to day duties. Others will be available to any of the general public who are interested. There are 4 cards in the 2021 set and only 100 of each card were produced. Shown is Card 1 in our 2021 set showcasing our newest officer….K-9 Rico! Want to find out the other 3 cards and how you can get your own 2021 set? Send us a direct message or visit the Locust Police Department!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFERS FREE HELPFUL INFORMATION PACKET
The Locust Police Department is pleased to offer a free 12-page helpful information, department insights, and welcome packet for City of Locust residents and businesses, both established and new……as well as to anyone who may be visiting or considering relocating to the Locust area.
Please let us know if there are any other inquiries you have or additional information you would like to see in future packets!
In the near future, our department will also be introducing more ways you can connect with and meet the administration and officers of our department!
Our officers are on-duty 24/7 and you can also feel free to stop by our department anytime Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
We are privileged to serve the Locust community, build relationships to further enhance our “City With A Soul”, and work with our community to keep it safe!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFERS ASSISTANCE AND PARTNERSHIP TO LOCUST BUSINESSES
The Locust Police Department offers multiple programs to assist and partner with businesses in Locust. Advisory email list, security details, and free escorts are currently offered with more programs to be implemented in the future! Check out the flyer below and contact the Locust Police Department at 704-888-4744 for more details!
LOCUST OFFICER HONORED WITH STINGER TIRE DEFLATION DEVICE COMMENDATION
Congratulations to PO2 Jared Smith who was awarded a commendation pin yesterday from Stinger Spike Systems for his successful deployment of a tire deflation device in October that safely ended a felony pursuit and ultimately resulted in the apprehension of the driver on multiple charges.
In the early morning hours of October 24th, a Nissan passenger car attempted to evade a Locust Police Department checkpoint and was pursued by the NC State Highway Patrol and other involved agencies. The vehicle fled into the Barbara Ann Park subdivision off of Meadowcreek Church Road, and Officer Smith was able to position himself and deploy a Stop Stick tire deflation device in an attempt to safely disable the suspect vehicle’s tires and end the pursuit. The deployment was successful in disabling tires on the vehicle resulting in the suspect vehicle crashing off of Meadowcreek Church Road. Due to extensive officer safety measures being taken and the very dark conditions, the driver of the vehicle was able to flee on foot however through investigation he was identified. Warrants were issued for his arrest for multiple charges including felony flee to elude arrest. No injuries or property damage were reported as a result of the pursuit with the only damage occurring to the suspect’s vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was apprehended without incident later on the same day.
Coincidentally Officer Smith’s patrol partner Officer Derek Yang was awarded the same commendation from Stinger for also successfully ending a felony pursuit in June with the same tire deflation device. Both officers were resupplied by Stinger with new tire deflation devices so if you plan to flee feloniously from the Locust Police Department or surrounding areas, you may want to hope this crew isn’t on duty.
LOCUST OFFICER HONORED AS STANLY COUNTY HOMETOWN HERO OF THE YEAR
In Charlotte this past Friday evening, Locust Detective Brittany Tucker received a special award of recognition. Detective Tucker was honored by the Joe Maus family of dealerships and recognized as 2021 Law Enforcement Hometown Hero of the Year for her work in the Locust community in both community service and in law enforcement as a member of the Locust Police Department.
Detective Tucker was recognized as a monthly Hometown Hero back in July and her nomination by Chief Shew detailed the following:
“I am pleased to announce my nomination of Detective Brittany Tucker for the July 2021 Joe Maus “Hometown Hero” recognition.
Detective Tucker has been with the Locust Police Department since 2009 where she began her career as a patrol officer advancing to the rank of PO2. In 2018, Tucker was promoted to the rank of Corporal, and she agreed to take a newly introduced position as school resource officer at Locust Elementary School. During two-plus years at Locust Elementary, Detective Tucker became a very beloved presence by students, parents, and staff. Detective Tucker was an outstanding representative of the Locust Police Department building positive relationships with the Locust Elementary community and keeping students and staff safe daily. In September 2020, Tucker was awarded a position as a detective after successfully completing a very challenging assessment process.
Detective Tucker is a graduate of Stanly Community College’s BLET program, and also holds an Associates in Applied Science degree for Criminal Justice Technology from Stanly Community College. Detective Tucker has also earned the general, intermediate, and advanced law enforcement certifications from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Detective Tucker is the co-creator and coordinator for the annual Locust Police Department “Shop With A Cop” program, a wonderful community service event that earned her the community nominated “Everyday Hero” award in 2016 from the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation. Detective Tucker has completed more than 1,000 hours of training in her law enforcement career.
Detective Tucker is a foundation officer of the current Locust Police Department and an invaluable member of the Locust Police Department family. We are so proud of her achievements and her contributions to the City of Locust. She is another Locust officer that truly represents what a “Hometown Hero” is and should be!”
We are extremely proud of Detective Tucker for all she does in the Locust community combatting criminal activity and also building relationships. Great job Brittany!
NEWSPAPER FEATURES LOCUST OFFICER
The Stanly News & Press recently released a feature story on 2020 Chief Steven “Smitty” Smith Officer of the Year and K9 Rico’s “partner” Corporal Dwayne Dietz!
2021 NO SHAVE NOVEMBER”ISH”
Here are your results from Locust Police Department’s 2021 No Shave November-“ish”. We had 8 officers participate in this year’s edition with all donations including one gracious resident donation to be given to the Warrior Jace Foundation.
Besides the always present safety risk and stress of the law enforcement profession in general, what else can make a police officer appear to be 10 years older than they are?
Despite that, every officer involved enjoyed one less task to concern themselves with each day for duty and all loved their beards. Claims that officers received a plethora of compliments for their “beard game” is highly debated and questionable at best. Until next year!
(Locust, NC Resident) I wanted to call and thank two of your officers for doing such a wonderful job going above and beyond what they had to do helping my daughter and I with our flat tire. We were in the middle of the road and vehicles were just zipping on by but Officer Fairfield arrived and assisted us by getting our car to a safe location. Officer Griffith then tried multiple methods to change our tire but we didn’t have the right tool for the specific lug nuts we had. It was still so appreciated them taking the time to help us. We support law enforcement and wanted them to know that they are appreciated and very much needed!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT PARTICIPATE IN OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
Multiple Locust officers and two members of the Locust City Hall staff put together 26 Christmas shoeboxes as part of this year’s Operation Christmas Child program collected by West Albemarle Baptist Church. Multiple other officers and city staff members also put together boxes for other area churches. #operationchristmaschild #ipackedashoebox
LOCUST OFFICER HAS MUSIC BACKGROUND
Locust Patrol Officer Rob Godek paid a visit to our friends at RBc Music Store on November 19th and showed some of his non law enforcement related skills. Rob has been playing guitar for nearly 20 years and previously played in touring bands as well as a brief stint on a television show. Rob also managed a music equipment store prior to becoming an officer. Check out a sample here and see more on RBC’s page which can be accessed through the highlighted link above. Thanks Ronnie and Christina for having us in for a visit!
HAPPY VETERAN’S DAY
Today we thank all veterans who have proudly served our great country with a special thanks to our own veterans of the Locust Police Department; United States Army veterans Sergeant Chad Whitley, Corporal Dwayne Dietz, PO2 Jared Smith and United States Air Force veteran Officer Kyle Fairfield. God bless you and thank you all so much for your service in keeping our country safe and free.
*Note – On the pictures, Corporal Dietz wasn’t being difficult as usual or less patriotic on the background…….he was away at K-9 training on picture day. Thank you for your service Dietz!*
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZE/THANK AN OFFICER INITIATIVE
11/08/21 – Detective Jaman Smith
(Greenville, NC resident) “Your kindness made a difference….and your thoughtfulness touched my heart”
“I just wanted to say thank you to Officer Jaman Smith for how he helped me when my car broke down on Barbee Road. I was scared and uncertain, and had no idea what to do to solve my problem and get myself home. Officer Smith was patient and kind, provided me with options and allowed me the time I needed. He made sure I was safe and looked after before leaving. He was my guardian angel.”
LOCUST OFFICER RECEIVES MERITORIOUS CONDUCT COMMENDATION
At last night’s Locust City Council meeting, Corporal Dwayne Dietz was awarded a special commendation for meritorious conduct for his role in the delivery and survival of an unresponsive newborn at a Locust residence in August. Corporal Dietz’s instructions, communication, and level headed demeanor were invaluable prior to the arrival of Fire and EMS. Corporal Dietz also showed his tremendous heart in taking the time to visit with the family when they returned from the hospital to make sure the new baby was okay. The parents were also in attendance last night along with their daughter and baby Ripley and were happy to report that he is two months old and doing great!
We also commend as always the tremendous skill and proficiency of the West Stanly Fire Department and Stanly County EMS for reviving little Ripley and saving his life. We are very proud to serve alongside all of you as a public service family.
Job well done Corporal Dietz for being such a positive representation for the profession of law enforcement and the Locust Police Department!
ANOTHER LOCUST OFFICER COMPLETES FIELD TRAINING OFFICER CERTIFICATION COURSE
In October, Locust Patrol Officer Rob Godek completed the 40-hour Field Training Officer (FTO) certification course. This completed training certifies Officer Godek to train new officers for the Locust Police Department and also earned Officer Godek the FTO commendation as part of the Locust Police Department Commendation Program.
Officer Godek has been with the Locust Police Department since 2018. He was a finalist for Officer of the Year in 2020 and been named Officer of the Month four times since January 2020 including September of this year. Officer Godek is the seventh current Locust officer to be FTO certified and along with Officer Jared Smith provides the department with two current standard patrol officers to utilize for introductory training of department new hires. Great job Rob!
2021 LOCUST FALL FESTIVAL
The Locust Police Department had a great time at the 2021 Locust Fall Festival last night handing out goodie bags and candy, and introducing our newest (and furriest) officer to so many children and families.
More than 250 full goodie bags and hundreds of individual pieces of candy were handed out to festival goers, but the real star of the evening (as expected) was Officer K-9 Rico who despite all of the kids (and numerous adults) in attendance’s best efforts, could apparently not pet or belly rub Rico too much.
Counseling was provided to Rico’s handler Corporal Dietz after the event to assure him that he also matters….. We will see you at Fall Festival 2022!
NEW OFFICER ANNOUNCEMENT
The Locust Police Department is pleased to officially announce the addition of our newest officer…..
K-9 RICO! Last spring, Locust City Council approved the addition of a department K-9 to be handled by Corporal Dwayne Dietz. Locust Elementary School students were given the opportunity to choose from 5 different names and the lead vote getter was Rico by one vote!!
Jag – 11
All students who selected Rico as our K-9’s name were put into a drawing with MR. GAVIN LECLERC being randomly selected as the winner of a special prize package. Gavin was in kindergarten when he picked Rico as his choice but is now in Ms. Yow’s first grade class. Gavin was visited today by K-9 Rico, Corporal Dietz, SRO Allison Griffith and other Locust officers to award him his special prize package and thank Gavin for naming our newest officer! Gavin got to meet and pet Rico and take pictures with him as well as his classmates! Rico also visited several other classrooms to say hello and let the students spend some time with him as well. Rico was a HUGE hit and has instantly become the most popular officer at the Locust Police Department!
Corporal Dietz and Rico will be stopping by Locust Elementary School regularly in the future to visit other classrooms and meet more students! Rico will also be at the Locust Fall Festival this Sunday at Locust Park for those that would like to meet him!
Did You Know?!?
K-9 Rico began his tour of duty with the Locust Police Department and Corporal Dietz on Friday October 22nd. Great to have you as part of our team Rico!!!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT AND NEW K-9 TO BE AT 2021 LOCUST FALL FESTIVAL
The Locust Police Department is EXCITED to announce that we will have a booth at this year’s Locust Fall Festival on Sunday October 31st at the City of Locust Athletic Complex and Officer Jeff Shelton Park! Come get a free goodie bag, meet Locust Officers, and a special appearance from our new department K-9 (Name to be announced)!
We hope to see you Sunday October 31st from 5:30 – 8:30 pm!
Festival Photo Credit: Locust Fall Festival
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES OFFICER ADVANCEMENT
Effective September 20th, 2021 another officer of the Locust Police Department patrol division has advanced through achievement and the Locust Police Department Commendation Program. Locust Patrol Officer Robert Godek was awarded advancement and commendation to the achievement rank of PO2 by Chief of Police Jeff Shew.
For Locust officers in the patrol division, the achievement rank of PO2 requires a minimum of two years of experience with the Locust Police Department, at least 250 total completed training hours, and required training completion of DCI 1, PLI (Police Law Institute), SFST (Standardized Field Sobriety Testing), Intox Operator Certification, and RADAR Operator Certification.
Officer Godek has been with the Locust Police Department since August of 2018. He has completed all required PO2 training courses and has completed 304 hours of total training. Officer Godek was a finalist for Locust Police Department Officer of the Year in 2020 and was named Officer of the Month for the department three times during that year. Officer Godek returned to patrol duty in August after being sidelined due to a required surgery in December. He also serves as the department’s vehicle maintenance and budget supervisor due to an extensive background in vehicle mechanics and in sales.
The Locust Police Department is extremely proud of Officer Godek for his achievement and continued dedication to career development. We believe Rob has a bright future with LPD and will continue to advance in his career with experience and extensive training completion. Great job Officer Godek!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT SPONSORS FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
The Locust Police Department hosted our first family movie night on September 11th showing the movie Scoob! behind the Locust Government Center. Kids in attendance received a free goodie bag from Locust officers, got to check out LPD police cars and meet our officers! Thank you to food vendors Tropical Sno and Wilson’s Famous Funnel Cakes, the City of Locust Parks and Recreation department for all the legwork they do for these movie events, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office who also participated, and for all those who attended!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES NEW PATROL OFFICER
The Locust Police Department welcomes Officer Kyle Fairfield as the newest member of our agency. Officer Fairfield will serve as a patrol officer with the department on Sergeant Chad Whitley’s patrol rotation and began his field training with Sergeant Stancil on September 6th.
Officer Fairfield is a United States’ Air Force veteran which included service in Afghanistan. Officer Fairfield began his law enforcement career with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2015 and during his tenure there earned a spot on CMPD’s SWAT team in 2018. He served with CMPD until his recent appointment with Locust.
Officer Fairfield cited his desire to really make a difference in his community, and to be more heavily involved in community policing and law enforcement/community relations as a major reason he chose the Locust Police Department. Officer Fairfield resides in Stanly County.
We are extremely excited that Kyle chose the Locust Police Department to continue his career. Welcome to the LPD family Officer Kyle Fairfield!!!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT GETTING READY FOR 2022 DEPARTMENT CALENDAR
The Locust Police Department is pleased to announce that we will once again be partnering with Law Enforcement Partners (previously Law Enforcement Magnets) and Summer Herlocker Photography for the 2022 Locust Police Department calendar!
Representatives from Law Enforcement Partners will be contacting Locust and other local businesses to discuss sponsorship opportunities to be included on next year’s calendar. They have been provided a list of all current Locust businesses however if you are interested in being included and want to assure your spot, please let us know and we will pass your contact info along!
LOCUST SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER SUCEEDING IN FIRST YEAR AS HEAD VOLLEYBALL COACH
Today the Locust Police Department recognizes our Locust Elementary School Resource Officer Allison Griffith.
Officer Griffith is also in her first year as head coach of the South Stanly High School Women’s Volleyball team where she has guided the Rebel Bulls to a record of 5-1 so far this season. Although we’re West Stanly supporters in this part of Stanly County, it’s hard not to root for Officer Griffith who’s doing an awesome job!
Protecting and building relationships with elementary school students on the west side during the day………coaching and mentoring high school students on the south side in the afternoon.
Officer Griffith, we are very proud of you!
**Locust Elementary School Photo Credit – (2020/2021 School Year) LES Facebook Page
LOCUST OFFICERS ARREST MAN POSING AS A WAL-MART EMPLOYEE WANTED FOR MULTIPLE THEFTS
On 08/14/2021 Locust Officers began investigating larcenies involving a subject dressed as an employee of Walmart.
On 08/18/2021 Mr. Brandon McCullough of Charlotte was apprehended by Locust Officers and charged with two counts of Felony Larceny. Mr. McCullough was also served with 6 outstanding arrest warrants from Iredell and Mecklenburg County for similar offenses.
Mr. McCullough was taken to Stanly County Jail where he is currently held on bond awaiting his court dates.
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Subject: Possession Of Stolen Vehicle, Felony Flee To Elude
Point Of Contact: Chief of Police Jeff B. Shew (firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-888-4744)
At approximately 11:10 am on Wednesday August 18th, the Locust Police Department received a dispatched report of a stolen vehicle out of Charlotte being tracked by a CMPD helicopter unit traveling eastbound toward Locust on NC 24/27. Locust officers identified the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop and continued traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed pursued by multiple Locust officers.
The driver of the vehicle continued to attempt to elude officers utilizing reckless driving maneuvers and high speeds on county roads in Western Stanly County before traveling back toward Locust on Bethel Church Road. Near the intersection of Bethel Church Road and North Central Avenue (NC Hwy 200), officers from the Albemarle Police Department and Stanfield Police Department attempted to deploy stop sticks in an effort to disable the vehicle. One of the tire deflation devices was successful and punctured two of the suspect vehicle’s tires. The vehicle continued traveling down Meadowcreek Church Road with flat tires before traveling into the Western Hills subdivision. In the Western Hills subdivision, the suspect vehicle hit a dead-end road and came to a stop partially in a ditch. The driver and lone occupant of the vehicle was then apprehended by Locust officers without further incident.
No damage to any Locust property was reported as a result of the pursuit, and no injuries suffered by any civilians, involved officers, or the suspect were reported. The suspect was checked by Stanly County EMS at the conclusion of the pursuit as a precaution to assure their well-being. The Locust Police Department was assisted in this pursuit by CMPD’s helicopter division, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, the Stanfield Police Department, and the Albemarle Police Department and we thank all involved agencies for their tremendous contributions in bringing this pursuit to a safe conclusion with an arrest made.
The suspect will not be identified as they claimed to be a juvenile. Applicable charges will be pursued through the Juvenile Justice system. The stolen vehicle was recovered with the only damage caused during the pursuit to the two tires that were disabled in order to bring this pursuit to a safe conclusion.
The Locust Police Department again reminds that our officers by policy are allowed to pursue vehicles who fail to stop when our officers have a valid and lawful reason to stop a vehicle. Our officers pursue safely and by policy, but they are authorized to pursue every single time.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CONGRATULATES LONG-TIME STANFIELD OFFICER
The Locust Police Department congratulates Officer Brian Cornett on his retirement this Wednesday. Thank you for your service to the citizens of Stanfield and western Stanly County. We wish you all the best in the years to come and hope you enjoy each and every day to the fullest!
Retiring Stanfield Officer Brian Cornett (L) With Stanfield Chief Corie Faggart (R)
LOCUST POLICE ARREST TWO AND SEIZE TWO VEHICLES AFTER SEPARATE VEHICLE PURSUITS
On two recent occasions, Locust officers engaged in vehicle pursuits of drivers who attempted to evade a lawful traffic stop. On both occasions the drivers were caught and charged with felony flee to elude and other applicable charges.
On June 16th at approximately 1:30 am, Locust officers clocked a motorcycle speeding on West Main Street. When they attempted to stop the motorcycle the driver failed to stop and attempted to flee at a high rate of speed westbound on NC 24/27 in little to no early morning traffic. Locust officers pursued the motorcycle into Mecklenburg County over the Hwy 485 overpass before it turned around traveling back toward Locust eastbound and then onto side streets in the Midland area where they were joined by deputies from the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office. The pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns however invaluable investigation by deputies from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the identification and location of the driver shortly after the pursuit was ended. Mr. James Eaker of Lincolnton was taken into custody without incident and charged with felony flee to elude and multiple traffic violations related to the pursuit. Mr. Eaker was booked into Stanly County Jail on a $6,000 bond, and Mr. Eaker’s motorcycle was seized.
On June 20th at approximately 7:35 pm, Locust officers identified a motorcycle operated by Mr. Lloyd Springer of Stanfield in the vicinity of the Wal-Mart area with officers knowing that Mr. Springer did not have a valid license to operate a motorcycle. When Locust officers attempted to stop Mr. Springer for the traffic violation, he failed to stop and attempted to flee down Pine Bluff Road at a high rate of speed. Locust officers pursued Mr. Springer to the River Road area of Stanfield where he ran the motorcycle into a ditch near a River Road residence and attempted to flee on foot. Mr. Springer was apprehended by Locust officers near a creek bed in the area. The motorcycle Mr. Springer operated was determined to be reported stolen out of Rowan County. Mr. Springer was transported to Cabarrus County Jail and charged with felony flee to elude, possession of a stolen vehicle, and numerous traffic violations related to the pursuit. Mr. Springer was given a $10,000 bond, and the stolen motorcycle was seized to be returned to the owner.
The Locust Police Department appreciates the fantastic working relationship and cooperation from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office and Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, particularly in the Eaker pursuit where deputies from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office conducted vital investigation that resulted in Mr. Eaker’s location and apprehension.
Both offenders are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
LOCUST OFFICERS END ALBEMARLE FELONY PURSUIT WITH TIRE DEFLATION DEVICE
On Tuesday June 1st just before 9 pm, Locust officers received a dispatched report from Stanly Communications of an incident involving an individual being shot, at the Shell service station located at the intersection of St. Martin Road and NC 24/27 in Albemarle.
Responding units from the Albemarle Police Department located the suspect vehicle and the vehicle attempted to flee resulting in a reported felony vehicle pursuit beginning in Albemarle. The suspect vehicle fled the Albemarle area and headed toward Locust traveling on Mission Church Road toward North Central Avenue (Hwy 200 N) pursued by APD officers. Locust officers responded to the area and set up to deploy a tire deflation device that every Locust officer is equipped with in their patrol vehicles. The suspect vehicle’s precise location was relayed, and the tire deflation device was deployed by Locust officers near Whispering Hills Drive on Mission Church Road as the vehicle approached, successfully puncturing three of the suspect vehicle’s tires.
The suspect vehicle was disabled by the device and crashed into a ditch off of Hwy 200 near Family Lane at the intersection of Mission Church Road. Both occupants of the vehicle, Mr. Justin Flip of Charlotte and Ms. Johnna Jones of Rock Hill, South Carolina were apprehended by responding officers without further incident. Neither suspect suffered any major injuries and aside from damage to the suspect vehicle, there was no other damage reported to any Locust property. No innocent civilians inside Locust city limits were hurt as a result of the pursuit and the officer’s precise actions with their issued tire deflation device prevented the possibility of any further pursuit or possible violent actions, damage to property in Locust, or injury to innocent civilians inside Locust. Locust officers were assisted by pursuing units from the Albemarle Police Department as well as by responding units from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Highway Patrol, and Oakboro Police Department.
Both suspects were transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Flip and Ms. Jones were charged with multiple offenses by the Albemarle Police Department related to the shooting incident and the felony flee to elude. The Locust Police Department is grateful for the outstanding communication and cooperation with all other involved agencies, and we are proud that our officers played a vital role in bringing the pursuit to a safe conclusion with arrests made.
The Locust Police Department would also provide the friendly reminder that if probable cause is developed that a violent and/or felony crime has been committed in another jurisdiction and there is an attempt to flee to Locust, our officers are authorized to participate in any pursuit, and in appropriate circumstances will safely disable suspect vehicles to protect those inside our city as well as other officers every single time.
CITY OF LOCUST GOLF CART REGISTRATIONS AT THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT
****PLEASE NOTE REGISTRATION HOURS CHANGE**** Golf cart registrations and renewals are available at the Locust Government Center Wednesday – Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm by appointment. Required forms are available at the Locust Police Department or through email request to Chief Shew at email@example.com. Please call 704-888-4744 or email to schedule appointment.
The City of Locust requires all residents who wish to utilize golf cart and other low-speed vehicles (excluding scooters and mopeds) on city and neighborhood streets to register and renew the vehicle with the city annually. Please note the following requirements and most common inquiries/issues with golf cart usage in Locust:
– Registration and inspection of the vehicle is required if you wish to use these vehicles on city and neighborhood streets. Registration fee is $20.00 annually to be paid at the Locust Police Department. Annual inspection of the vehicle is also required. A current and valid registration of the vehicle is not required in the event that you must drive it to the Locust Government Center for registration, renewal, and inspection.
– To register the vehicle, you must add the vehicle to an insurance policy and provide proof of insurance annually.
– To be approved for night-time operation, the vehicle must be equipped with working headlights, taillights, and turn signals. To be approved only for day-time operation, vehicle must be shown to be in good, safe, working order.
– A “Defense Release, Indemnity, And Hold Harmless Agreement” must be signed upon initial registration.
– You must be a licensed driver to operate the vehicle inside the city unless you are on your own private property or the property of another with permission.
– Please note that if the vehicle is not registered with the DMV of North Carolina (aka “street legal”), the vehicle may NOT be operated on NC Highway 200, NC Highway 24-27, Elm Street, Meadowcreek Church Road, Bethel Church Road, Renee Ford Road, Coley Store Road, and Brown’s Hill Road unless it is necessary to temporarily utilize those roadways to access a city or neighborhood street, pathway, etc. Be aware that when those exceptions are necessary, it does not remove any applicable liability for you or the vehicle in the event of a vehicle crash.
– It is prohibited by ordinance to operate the vehicle on city sidewalks however typically if you are not causing damage or creating a nuisance, the same type of “temporary access” listed prior is acceptable. Any damage or injury caused by utilizing the vehicle on city sidewalks would be viewed in the context of the ordinance prohibiting sidewalk operation.
For more information about specific rules and ordinances governing golf cart and slow-moving vehicle usage in Locust, please visit the City of Locust website and check the “Zoning Ordinances” tab under “Government”.
You may also contact the Locust Police Department with any inquiries at 704-888-4744.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT RESTARTS FINGERPRINT SERVICE
The City of Locust Government Center is now reopened to the public and the Locust Police Department is again offering our fingerprint card service to those entering jobs that require fingerprinting.
Due to the steadily increasing amount of requests we began to receive pre-Covid, the Locust Police Department has adjusted the schedule where we offer this service to provide proper resource allocation. Effective Monday May 24th, 2021, the fingerprint service will be available on the following days and times weekly (EXCLUDING HOLIDAYS):
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT ESTABLISHES SPEED MONITORING PROGRAM
In response to regular complaints of excessive speeding on neighborhood streets in Locust, the City of Locust and Locust Police Department purchased three speed monitoring and data collection RADAR signs to be deployed in areas of concern where we receive regular complaints of speeds that may put residences, residents walking with their pets, and children playing at risk if a crash occurred due to negligent speeds on those residential streets. As a result, the Locust Police Department Speed Monitoring Program was initiated.
Due to numerous residential complaints, the most recent deployment of one of our speed monitoring signs was in the Whispering Hills subdivision. The sign was installed earlier this week and programmed today to go live. As part of our speed monitoring program, over the next few weeks the Locust Police Department will collect speed data from the sign that will be analyzed to assess speed patterns in the community, volume of excessive speeds, and the time periods that excessive speeds are most prevalent. If the data analyzed indicates excessive speeds in the neighborhood, the Locust Police Department will take additional steps to conduct dedicated speed enforcement utilizing in-car RADAR units and hand held LIDAR units if necessary.
Due to our limited available resources and other daily responsibilities of the officers in our department, we would prefer to not have to conduct dedicated speed enforcement in the subdivision if at all possible. Per the speed limit sign posted on Whispering Hills Drive, the speed limit in the Whispering Hills subdivision Phase 1 is 15 mph. The Locust Police Department is asking all residents and visitors in Whispering Hills to please travel as close to the posted speed limit as possible.
If you have any questions about the Locust Police Department Speed Monitoring Program or you live in an area of Locust where you believe one of our speed monitoring signs is needed, please let us know. Please also know however that we are unable to currently place speed monitoring signs on State of NC maintained roadways due to DOT regulations. We are in the process of working on the requirements for approval for those roadways.
As always, the Locust Police Department is honored and privileged to serve you!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT HONORS CORPORAL DWAYNE DIETZ AS RECEIPIENT OF 2020 CHIEF STEVEN “SMITTY” SMITH OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD, RECOGNIZES OTHER OFFICERS
Officer Derek K. Yang, 2020 Rookie Officer Of The Year
Officer Robert S. Godek And Detective Karcin L. Vick-Dunn, 2020 Officer Of The Year Finalists
Corporal Dwayne A. Dietz, 2020 Chief Steven “Smitty” Smith Officer Of The Year
BROWNS HILL AME ZION CHURCH PROVIDES LUNCH AND PERSONALIZED CARDS FOR LOCUST OFFICERS
01/11/2021 – The Locust Police Department also sends our most heartfelt thank you to members and the children of Brown Hill AME Zion Church here in Locust for thinking of our officers and department this weekend. They provided our officers a ton of Subway sandwiches, and children of the church created some very thoughtful and heartfelt cards for our officers as well. We are a united Locust community and we are honored and privileged to serve and protect you.
LOCUST DETECTIVES MAKE ARREST IN DECEMBER 2020 MURPHY EXPRESS ARMED ROBBERY
***ATTENTION!!!*** Due to circumstances related to Covid-19 and Covid-19 regulations, the Coats By Cops distribution event scheduled for January 9th (Tomorrow) has been postponed. Officer Griffith is hoping to have this event scheduled some time in February. Stay tuned!!
***If your child or a child you know is in desperate need of winter items immediately, please contact the police department at 704-888-4744 Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm and we will assist you!***
2020 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
FOR MORE REGULAR DEPARTMENT NEWS AND UPDATES, VISIT THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT FACEBOOK PAGE:
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT COORDINATES WINTER CLOTHING DONATION EVENT
The Locust Police Department is hosting COATS BY COPS, a donation event coordinated by Locust Elementary School Resource Officer Allison Griffith to assure area children in need have a winter coat and accessories for the upcoming cold weather months.
Donations of children’s and youth coats, jackets, scarfs, gloves, hoodies, and pullovers will be accepted at the Locust Police Department from now until December 31st, 2020. See attached flyer for more details!
On January 9th, 2021, the Locust Police Department will host an event to provide these donated items to any children and youth in need. Event details TBD based on current status of Covid pandemic and associated requirements.
DONATION REQUEST TO HONOR CHIEF SMITH AND ASSIST HIS FAMILY
It would not be possible to give individual thanks to the multitude of organizations and citizens that have paid their respects and sent their well-wishes to honor Chief Smith however the men and women of the Locust Police Department want you all to know how much we appreciate all the love, compassion, support, and assistance you’ve shown to Chief Smith’s family and our entire department during this extremely difficult time.
If your heart is led, please consider making a donation to Melissa Smith or the Riley And Hunter Smith College Fund. For the college fund, donations can be made at any State Employees’ Credit Union. Any type of donation to the Smith family or the college fund can also be sent to the Locust Police Department at PO Box 190, Locust, NC 28097 or in-person at 186 Ray Kennedy Drive, Locust.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT HONORS FOUR VETERAN OFFICERS
The Locust Police Department strives to recognize officers who dedicate significant years of service to the Locust Police Department and the City of Locust. Full-time officers who work for the Locust Police Department for ten years will receive a uniform ribbon to show our appreciation for their dedicated service. Each 5 years of service following, they will again be honored. On November 23rd, the Locust Police Department recognized four officers who have dedicated at least ten years to the City of Locust. The officers honored which includes their beginning of tour were:
These officer’s dedication remaining with the same agency results in highly trained and experienced officers that assures the city is receiving well-qualified service and protection, as well as quality supervision, oversight and mentoring to our younger officers. This dedicated service is also a testament to the immense support city administration and the Locust City Council provides the Locust Police Department resulting in officers who want to continue their careers dedicated to the City of Locust.
The Locust Police Department congratulates all of these officers and we sincerely appreciate their continued service!
The Locust Police Department welcomes Officer Hunter Griffith as the newest member of our agency. Officer Griffith will serve as a patrol officer with the department on Sergeant Chad Whitley’s patrol rotation and will begin his field training with Sergeant Whitley on October 21st.
Officer Griffith is a Stanly County native and graduate of West Stanly High School. Officer Griffith attended Stanly Community College and graduated with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice Technology. Also, while in school Officer Griffith was a member of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Cadet Program where he advanced to the rank of Captain. Officer Griffith comes from a law enforcement family, and both his father and uncle retired as Captains from the Albemarle Police Department.
Officer Griffith graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training program (BLET) at Stanly Community College in June 2018 where he was awarded the class physical fitness and top academic awards. He has served for the last two and half years as a patrol officer with the Albemarle Police Department where he earned training certifications as a RADAR and Intox operator, as well as completing certification in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing among other completed training courses. While at APD, Officer Griffith also served on the department’s SWAT unit for approximately a year and a half.
Officer Griffith was a highly recruited candidate while in Stanly’s BLET program, and we are elated that he chose the Locust Police Department to continue his career. Welcome to the LPD family Officer Hunter Griffith!!!
LONG-TIME LOCUST OFFICERS HONORED WITH STATE CERTIFICATIONS
CHIEF SMITH PASSES AWAY
It is with the utmost tremendous sadness that the Locust Police Department must officially announce the passing of our Chief of Police, Steven R. “Smitty” Smith. Chief Smith passed away last evening at Atrium Health Cabarrus in Concord. Chief Smith was off-duty at the time of his death. He was 45 years old.
Chief Smith was a Locust native who began his career with the Locust Police Department before working tours with the Monroe and Kannapolis Police Departments. He returned to the Locust Police Department in 2007 as a patrol officer. Chief Smith was promoted to the ranks of Sergeant and Captain at the department before being appointed Chief of Police at the end of December 2019. Chief Smith succeeded retiring Locust Chief Frank Hartsell who along with every member of the Locust Police Department endorsed “Smitty” for the position.
Chief Smith was an outstanding decision maker and leader who held an extraordinary vision for the future of the Locust Police Department. In just six months as Chief of Police, “Smitty” had been consistently praised for his performance by the members of the Locust Police Department, Locust city administration as well as the elected members of the City Council of Locust.
Chief Smith was an “officer’s Chief” who was able to combine the perfect mixture of leadership with camaraderie. One of the ideals Chief Smith leaned heavily on was knowing that the patrol division is the heart and soul of a police department, and he knew that the department’s success and how the department would be viewed by the public was dependent on the effectiveness of its patrol officers. Chief Smith’s goal was to develop or enhance the most well-equipped, well-trained, community driven patrol officers possible and every single member of the Locust Police Department responded so positively to that leadership.
“Smitty” was adored by his peers in the Stanly and surrounding county’s law enforcement community as well as by so many members of the Locust community that had known him his entire life. “Smitty” was always a pleasure to be around and one of the most humorous storytellers you would ever meet. Chief always seemed to have the perfect “one-liner” for any occasion. All of the members of the Locust Police Department will miss him so much.
In the coming days and weeks, we ask you to please keep Chief Smith’s wife, children, family, and friends as well as the members of the Locust Police Department in your thoughts and prayers. Funeral arrangements are to be determined.
GETTING TO KNOW THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT
As part of a summer 2020 series, a different Locust officer will be featured each Friday to give you more insight on the men and women of the Locust Police Department. For our first addition, we fittingly start with the head of our agency;
Chief of Police Steven Smith
Law Enforcement Agency Experience:
Locust Police Department (Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Captain, Chief of Police), Kannapolis Police Department (Patrol Officer), Monroe Police Department (Patrol Officer)
AAS Criminal Justice Technology – Stanly Community College
Law Enforcement Management Academy – South Piedmont Community College
BLET – Stanly Community College
NC Intermediate and Advanced Law Enforcement Certification
Did You Know? – Chief Smith is a Locust native who is known by most in the Locust area simply as “Smitty”. Chief Smith started his career with the Locust Police Department in 1997 before stints with the Monroe and Kannapolis Police Departments. Chief Smith returned to Locust in 2007. Chief Smith’s hobbies off-duty include camping, hunting, and fishing.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
The Locust Police Department (LPD) is accepting applications for the position of Patrol Officer (PO1). Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in the interview process, which includes (but is not limited to) extensive oral interviews and background investigation, as well as medical and psychological assessments. The starting salary for basic entry level officers is $38,000 and a higher starting salary for officers with extensive experience, training, and education. The City of Locust is one of the fastest growing municipalities in North Carolina. As the city continues to grow, the Locust Police Department will continue to expand as well resulting in more promotional opportunities, specialized appointments, and salary potential in the future. Apply today to be a member of the most respected law enforcement agency in Stanly County! For application inquiries and process please contact Assistant Chief of Police Shew through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 704-888-4744.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT RESUMES GOLF CART REGISTRATIONS/RENEWALS JULY 1ST, FINGERPRINT SERVICE STILL SUSPENDED
**Announcement From The Locust Police Department**
Reference – Required Golf Cart Registrations & Fingerprint Service
Since April 1st due to Covid-19 and the closure of the Locust Government Center to the public, the Locust Police Department had suspended golf cart registrations/renewals and our public fingerprint service.
The Locust Police Department announces the following:
Golf Cart Registrations/Renewals
On July 1st, 2020 the Locust Police Department will resume golf cart registrations and renewals at the Locust Government Center. Please see the link below in reference to the requirements to register golf carts inside Locust city limits if you wish to operate them on city and neighborhood streets. For any new residents, this is not a new ordinance and has been required for many years. Registration and renewal is required annually at a cost of $20 and annual registration term is July through June. Please inquire about circumstances where a prorated registration fee may apply. Golf cart must also be added to an insurance policy and proof of insurance will be required. Please contact 704-888-4744 or Asst. Chief Shew at email@example.com if you have any other questions or to schedule an appointment for registration/renewal. Scheduling an appointment for registration is required.
The Locust Police Department fingerprint service is still suspended until further notice. We are in the process of evaluating this program to decide how we would like to proceed going forward. We anticipate resuming this program at some point in the future in some form. Please contact the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about having fingerprints completed through their agency.
CITY OF LOCUST INSTALLS NEW NO PARKING SIGNS
The City of Locust recently installed new prohibited parking signs in multiple Locust subdivisions and neighborhoods. These signs, and particularly the verbiage of the signs satisfy a requirement in our city ordinance which prohibits on-street parking. Per Locust city ordinance, parking on the streets of neighborhoods or subdivisions in Locust where these signs are displayed is a violation of city ordinance which can result in a fine, the vehicle being towed, or both.
The Locust Police Department is well aware that the issue of on-street parking usually results in a “we’re darned if we do, and darned if we don’t” situation when it comes to enforcement. In our experience it always appears that roughly half of a subdivision is against residents parking on the street while the other half is against the enforcement of it.
The Locust Police Department does not conduct dedicated patrol operations to seek out parking violators however if we do receive complaints about on-street parking in violation of the ordinance, we must investigate those complaints, ask the violating resident/visitor to comply, and take enforcement actions if they choose not to. Our officers however would always much rather work with the individual(s) so they understand the violation and are given the opportunity to move the vehicle parked illegally without additional enforcement provided it is not a recurrent and regular violation.
We will also remind our residents that temporary parking permits are available at the Locust Government Center for on-street parking in the event you are having a party or gathering (post Covid-19 regulations). Please contact 704-888-4744 Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm to apply for a temporary parking permit or if you have additional questions about temporary parking permits or City of Locust parking ordinances. We will also remind however that the Locust City Council approves and passes all ordinances for the City of Locust and the Locust Police Department has no control over the existence or revision of city ordinances.
Below you will find a link to City of Locust parking ordinances. Also below, the neighborhoods/subdivisions where no parking on street signs have been posted as well as four additional areas where signs will be installed soon.
– Town Center Apartments (Prohibits parking on street in front of apartments on Town Centre Drive and Ardsley Drive)
– Locust Valley (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– The Meadows (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– Whispering Hills Phase 1 (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– Meadowcreek Village (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– Redah Acres (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– Whitney (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– King’s Heights (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood which would include areas identified as Sherwood Park)
SIGNS TO BE INSTALLED SOON:
– Whispering Hills Phase 2 (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– Redbridge (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood)
– Meadowcreek Village Chilkoot Lane (Prohibits parking on street on all streets in neighborhood including streets of additional phase off of Chilkoot)
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT COMMENTS ON ALLEGED PROTESTS SCHEDULED FOR LOCUST AND ONGOING PROTESTS/RIOTS OVER THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD
June 2nd, 2020 – The Locust Police Department completely understands all questions and concerns related to numerous Facebook posts regarding alleged planned activities last night in Locust. We had absolutely zero confirmed credible information related to these activities however out of an abundance of caution we did arrange or stage extra resources and officers in Locust in the event there was any legitimacy to the posts. Now in the morning after, we can 100% confirm there was zero truth to any of the posts that we observed. Initially last evening, we were not in the position to post anything to dispel the claims being made as we were still assessing if there was any legitimacy to them. We can assure everyone if an allegation of a planned event is made and we can confirm the threat as being legitimate we will always try to get that information out to the general public.
Specifically regarding the post made about Locust Police going door to door to tell residents to stay inside, we first wanted to confirm with every one of our officers that none of them had engaged in that activity (Which would have been an independent action by an officer, and not an order or directive issued). Once we felt confident that had not occurred we were comfortable posting that nothing about the post aside from extra officers being out and about was accurate. No posts about busloads of people being dropped off in Locust were accurate. No businesses were barricaded. No businesses closed early or if they did, it was not at our direction. No SWAT or SRT teams were called in. We may be missing some other allegations made, but essentially we feel comfortable saying that unless it involved additional officers than usual being out in Locust last evening, any posts of alleged activities planned or occurring were not true.
In the future, for those that want to post activities allegedly planned or allegedly occurring in Locust that they “heard from a friend of a friend” or “through the grapevine”, or for those that share these posts, the Locust Police Department would greatly appreciate a direct call to provide those “tips” as opposed to the decision to post or share on Facebook to spread. You can contact the Locust Police Department at 704-888-4744 Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, or 24 hours a day at 704-986-3700 for non-emergencies and 911 for emergencies.
The Locust Police Department is extremely grateful and appreciative to the outstanding show of support and assistance from Sheriff Jeff Crisco and the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Corie Faggart and the Stanfield Police Department, and the offering of assistance if needed by Sheriff Van Shaw and the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office.
We are also so appreciative of the members of our community who have shown their support of our department and officers through social media posts, stopping by to say a kind word, pray with us, and donate food that most of us probably didn’t need to eat but were so grateful for. During this current time of events, that support is so humbling and meaningful to us beyond adequate words to express.
To close, we as a department have not posted lengthy statements about the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd or the protests and rioting that have occurred since. We are an agency that strongly believes in the value of community policing and working side by side with both the residents and visitors of Locust to stop, prevent, and solve crime, and to have open communication about all facets of our department and activities when at all possible. Additionally, we police in Locust by the strict enforcement of our North Carolina laws while using sound police discretion and always the fair, moral, and ethical treatment of all we come in contact with regardless of their race or ethnicity. We also strive to have the most well-trained officers in our county, and the vast majority of our officers were born and raised in or near the community that we serve. The rest of us “got here as soon as we could”.
The death of Mr. Floyd should not have occurred. The officer(s) involved in Mr. Floyd’s death will now rightfully face justice. Peaceful protesting of Mr. Floyd’s death and the desire for reasonable changes in policing is welcome and protected by our United States’ Constitution. Violent rioting, the destruction of property, looting, and assaults are criminal acts that do not honor Mr. Floyd, do not influence reasonable changes in policing, they are not protected acts, and they are not okay.
The Locust Police Department will always be here when you need us, and we try our absolute best to leave you alone when you don’t. Either way, we will serve and protect you and our great city every single day.
LOCUST OFFICER COMPLETES MASTER’S DEGREE
May 8th, 2020 – Locust PD Officer Christopher McDaniel completed his Masters of Science in Criminal Justice degree as well as a Certificate in Criminal Justice Education from East Carolina University. Officer McDaniel “graduated” in a virtual ceremony Friday due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Officer McDaniel is a 25+ year veteran of law enforcement with prior service as a Captain of detention facilities with both the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. Officer McDaniel was previously awarded the advanced law enforcement certification by both the NC Sheriff’s and Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission, and is also a certified law enforcement instructor with the state. Officer McDaniel plans to retire from law enforcement in October and will be relocating to Florida where he intends to pursue teaching criminal justice classes. Way to go Officer McDaniel!
ARREST MADE IN LOCUST DRUG INVESTIGATION
May 6th, 2020 – In March 2020, the Locust Police Department began receiving multiple complaints related to alleged drug use, sales and distribution activity in a Locust subdivision. Officers and investigators from the Locust Police Department conducted a two-month investigation into the alleged activity with the assistance of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division and Stanfield Police Department. During the investigation, probable cause was established that drugs were being sold at a residence in the sub-division.
On May 7th, 2020, Detectives with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division executed a search warrant at the residence along with officers from the Locust Police Department and Stanfield Police Department. Mr. Jaquan Ingram, the subject of our investigation, was on-scene at the time and was apprehended without incident. A search of vehicles on the premises as well as the residence was conducted. Approximately one pound of suspected marijuana and marijuana/THC products, more than $2600 in currency, drug paraphernalia/distribution products, firearm accessories including an extended ammunition magazine, and stolen property from a Locust incident occurring in January 2020 were found and seized during the search. The Locust Police Department offers our most sincere appreciation for the tremendous and highly skilled assistance of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division and the support assistance of the Stanfield Police Department during this investigation.
Mr. Ingram was booked into the Stanly County Jail and formally charged with two counts of felony maintaining a vehicle/dwelling for the distribution of controlled substance, felony possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, simple possession of marijuana related products, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of stolen goods. Mr. Ingram was given a $10,000 secured bond and an initial court date of July 14th. Mr. Ingram is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
FORMER LOCUST ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE ERIC THOMAS PASSES AWAY
May 4th, 2020 – The Locust Police Department is extremely saddened to announce the passing of 35-plus year veteran Stanly County law enforcement officer and former Locust Assistant Chief of Police Eric C. Thomas. Chief Thomas worked as our Assistant Chief from 2010-2015 and again as a reserve officer following his retirement from full-time law enforcement in 2018 and 2019. Although Chief Thomas worked the majority of his career for the Albemarle Police Department and Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, the positive impact he had on the Locust Police Department as an agency and the officers who worked under him during the five years he served as Assistant Chief is beyond measure. Many of our current officers who had the privilege to work directly with Chief Thomas have patterned so many of their philosophies and methods after the way Chief Thomas operated as an officer, an investigator, and an administrator, and the Locust Police Department still today conducts our daily operations in many aspects based on the contributions of Chief Thomas and the example he set.
In 2016, current Locust Assistant Chief of Police (then Detective) Jeff Shew nominated Chief Thomas to be the first recipient of the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Foundation Outstanding Career Service Award. Below you will find Chief Shew’s nomination submission for Chief Thomas in its entirety. We can think of no better way to sum up Eric Thomas as an officer and a person and we hope you will take the opportunity to read it.
In our opinion Chief Thomas is not only a Stanly County law enforcement legend but also the greatest law enforcement officer in the history of our county. We will all miss so much his knowledge, his approach, his steadiness, his stories, and his friendship but just like the sigh of relief we used to breathe whenever Chief Thomas would show up on a serious scene or investigation, we know in heaven as Chief Thomas rolled up they also proclaimed, “Okay…..we’re good now”.
2016 OUTSTANDING CAREER SERVICE AWARD
“I, Detective Jeff Shew of the Locust Police Department nominate Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Thomas for the 2016 Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation Outstanding Career Service Award. Eric Thomas, currently a Captain with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office has been a staple in Stanly County law enforcement for more than 30 years. Because Captain Thomas always shies away from taking any credit or ever wanting any accolades for his accomplishments, I’m unsure of the exact length of time of his service or how long he served where. I do know that Captain Thomas has been a patrol officer, deputy, detective, supervisor, captain, assistant chief, and chief deputy in his tenure that has included the Oakboro Police Department, Albemarle Police Department, Locust Police Department, and Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. During that same time period he also served as director of the Basic Law Enforcement Program at Stanly Community College for several years.
Captain Thomas is known for his wit, his stories, and his lessons on what you USED to be able to do in law enforcement that you CAN’T do in law enforcement today. More importantly however, Captain Thomas is also known for his law enforcement knowledge, always having a solution to offer or at least the person he knows that can get you a solution, and his willingness to provide guidance regardless of the officer you are or the agency you work for. I can without hesitation say with complete confidence that there is no law enforcement officer in Stanly County that is more respected than Captain Eric Thomas. That respect has been earned through an honorable career of serving and protecting the citizens of Stanly County, quality and ethical police work, and the unwavering willingness to assist other officers that represents the brotherhood of the job that we do.
In 2010, Captain Thomas was hired by the Locust Police Department as detective and assistant chief. As word spread of the hire I, who am not originally from the Stanly County area questioned “Who’s Eric Thomas?” As then Assistant Chief Thomas began his tenure with Locust I watched how meticulously he handled investigations, how much knowledge he was able to impart any time a question was asked, and how well respected he was in the field. During that time period which were my first few years as an officer in Stanly County, regardless of the type of call or investigation we responded to, when Chief Thomas arrived I would always breathe a sigh of relief and think to myself, “okay, we’re good now”. During the five years he spent at Locust, among the hundreds of investigations Chief Thomas conducted, I watched him tediously pour over months of financial records to make an arrest in a felony embezzlement case. I watched Chief Thomas theorize how a suspect entered a small opening under a garage door to steal a car, then based on that theory used fingerprint powder to find a palm print that resulted in the arrest of a suspect not even from Stanly County two years later. I watched Chief Thomas fill notebooks with investigative documents on cases that resulted in no prosecution just because he knew his job was to investigate every incident brought before him to the fullest. I watched Chief Thomas always answer the phone regardless of what time it was and respond if he was needed. I watched Chief Thomas fiercely defend Locust officers in situations that included traffic stops with disgruntled drivers. I watched Chief Thomas operate a meticulously organized evidence room. And I watched Chief Thomas compile immensely thorough case files for Locust officers just so the district attorney’s office would have as much respect for the job we did as possible. In those five years at Locust, I learned exactly who Eric Thomas is. Eric Thomas is the officer that you point to when you’re talking to a rookie officer and say “That’s who you want to learn from”…….”That’s the type of officer you want to strive to become.”
There’s a saying that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. When Captain Thomas left Locust to return to the Sheriff’s Office in 2015, I was assigned to take over the position of detective. This role included handling the evidence room as well as department case files. When I began the position, I didn’t look to any training I had received, and I didn’t look to create my own way of doing things. What I looked at and what I thought to myself is “How did Eric Thomas do it?”, and I did it that way. Based on my experience I knew that however Captain Thomas had done things, that’s how things should be done.
There’s not an agency in Stanly County law enforcement that can say they weren’t made a better agency by Captain Eric Thomas being there, and I find it hard to believe there’s an officer in Stanly County that can say they’re not a better officer for knowing Captain Eric Thomas. As lofty as the praise may sound, if there was a “Mount Rushmore” for Stanly County law enforcement, I believe Captain Eric Thomas (likely holding a cup of coffee and a cigarette) would be one of the first if not the first Stanly County officer carved into it. For the first ever Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation Outstanding Career Service award, I cannot think of a more deserving Stanly County officer than Captain Eric Thomas.”
God bless you Chief. You will never be forgotten.
(L) Locust Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Eric Thomas in 2010
(R) Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Thomas receiving the inaugural Outstanding Career Service Award in 2016
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON COVID-19 EXECUTIVE ORDER 121 (STAY AT HOME ORDER)
***Credit For The Majority Of This Post Goes To The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. We thought Sheriff Ingram’s post was so spot-on with the guidance provided and what to expect from their Sheriff’s Office once Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 121 goes into effect at 5 pm today (03/30) we are sharing most of it and substituting Locust in the post***
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very stressful and in some cases, scary time for many of us in Locust, Stanly County, and surrounding areas. The stay-at-home order issued Friday by Governor Cooper likely and understandably enhanced those emotions.
The Locust Police Department wanted to take a moment to share with you our perspective of Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 121. We think it is important to address what the Locust Police Department will and will not be doing as a result of the order. We hope this will ease some worry for those trying to understand what the stay-at-home order means for you and your families. There is a great deal of information included in the order but we hope to cover the main points and clear up as much confusion as possible.
First, members of the Locust Police Department will not have roadblocks set-up to check those who are out and about. The Locust Police Department will also not be conducting traffic stops outside of violations of law to check driver’s travel intentions unless the circumstances overwhelmingly warrant it. We trust everyone moving about will be doing so for the purpose of work and/or taking care of essential needs.
What is considered essential as related to the stay-at-home order? A person may be out if they are coming or going to: Work, medical appointments, shopping for food, medications and home products for yourself or for someone unable to leave their home. This also includes travel to and from places of worship as well as travel to volunteer with organizations that provide charitable services. Additionally, you CAN go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. You can go for a walk or a jog and you can take your dog for a walk. However, this does not mean you can go to public places that have been closed as a result of the order, and Locust officers will be assuring businesses that are required to be closed and any gathering sizes at locations closed by the order are in compliance. Even this enforcement by Locust officers will be as a result of received complaints or if we happen upon them, and not as a result of any strict “compliance patrols”. (Please check the order for a list of the types of businesses that would be required to be closed).
There are many businesses and services that are considered essential which will remain operational and available to you. While there are too many to list, some are: food services, healthcare services, banking services, construction services and gas stations. The order with a complete list is provided below.
The goal of the order is to limit the amount of contact between people in an effort to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while still allowing you to have access to essential needs and giving providers of these needs authority to come and go. Exercising social distancing (maintaining at least six feet apart) and only gathering in groups of 10 people or less is key to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
We offer encouragement to everyone during this time to stay positive and stay calm. Realize that the order is designed to influence you to stay home as much as you absolutely can but does not represent an “apocalyptic” event preventing you from purchasing supplies and food, getting fuel, getting medical care and medications, and conducting banking needs.
This is a time for people with children to reassure them they are safe and everything will be okay. While many of us aren’t cut out to be teachers, do the best you can (and when this is over, Thank a Teacher!) Use this as an opportunity to spend quality time with your families, get caught up on simple home projects, and enjoy this beautiful springtime weather.
TOGETHER, we will all get through this! We are the greatest nation in the history of the world, and WE will overcome this crisis stronger and even more resilient than before. This too shall pass. Until then, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with everyone as we navigate through this unsettling time.
Remember, the Locust Police Department is available to you 24/7. We remain on duty, protecting and serving you and your families. Never hesitate to call on us if you need us. If you have questions about the stay-at-home order, we will do our best to answer them. You may message us directly through Facebook messenger or by emailing Assistant Chief Shew at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions by phone, you may contact us Monday-Friday (8:30 – 5:00) at 704-888-4744 or 24 hours a day at 704-986-3700 (for any needed law enforcement response, please utilize this number or 911 for an emergency).
We also encourage you to visit the Stanly County Health Department website for more information and the City of Locust website for any Locust specific info. Finally a link to Governor Cooper’s order is also below. We encourage everyone to read it so you understand what is and what is not acceptable following 5 pm today (03/30/20).
LPD OFFICIALLY SWEARS IN NEW OFFICERS
The Locust Police Department welcomes Derek Yang as the newest member of our department. Officer Yang was officially sworn in on February 3rd by Locust city clerk Amy Meachum. Officer Yang is a 2019 graduate of Stanly Community College’s BLET program where he was the class recipient of the Damon Smith award for overall excellence and leadership in the class. We are proud to welcome him to the Locust family, and we believe he will be a tremendous asset to our law enforcement agency. Officer Yang will begin his field training under Sergeant Whitley. Welcome to our team and congratulations Derek!
The Locust Police Department also welcomed Josh Gardner to our department. Officer Gardner was officially sworn in on January 30th by Locust planning and zoning administrator Scott Efird. Officer Gardner is a Locust area native who has wanted to work for the Locust Police Department since he was a child. Officer Gardner is a 2019 graduate of Stanly Community College’s BLET program. We are proud to welcome him to the Locust family, and we believe he has a very bright future in law enforcement. Officer Gardner will begin his field training under Sergeant Stancil. Welcome to our team and congratulations Josh!
TRANSITION TO A NEW ERA IS COMPLETE AT THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT
In what seems fitting to take place on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, the Locust Police Department celebrated the promotion of three officers and the start of the careers of two new officers on January 9th, 2020. Another Locust officer was previously promoted last September. These promotions and additions completed the transition to a new era at the Locust Police Department under Chief Steven Smith.
At the first city council meeting of 2020, three Locust officers were officially promoted to new positions with the department.
Jeff Shew was promoted to the rank of assistant chief of police for the department. Chief Shew has been with the Locust Police Department since 2009. After nearly six years in the department’s patrol division, he was promoted to detective sergeant in 2015 where he conducted or supervised all Locust investigations until the end of 2019. In his time as detective Chief Shew served as the lead investigator in just the second homicide Locust had ever experienced in July 2015. Chief Shew’s investigation in that incident along with assistance from other involved agencies resulted in apprehension and a guilty plea of what will likely amount to a life sentence for the offender. Chief Shew earned an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Stanly Community College where he was awarded the Edward J Snyder Jr Exceptional Scholar Award, and he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Carolina University with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. Chief Shew also holds the general, intermediate, and advanced law enforcement certifications from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Chief Shew is also a certified general instructor with the state of North Carolina and serves as an instructor for both annual mandated in-service training as well as an instructor with Stanly Community College’s BLET program. Chief Shew was awarded the “Got Your Six” award and “Everyday Hero” award by the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Foundation in 2014, and was a finalist for Stanly County Officer of the Year in 2013. Chief Shew graduated from the Leadership Stanly program in 2017. Chief Shew has also completed more than 1,100 training hours during his career and in 2019 graduated from the Law Enforcement Management Academy at South Piedmont Community College.
New Locust Assistant Chief Of Police Jeff Shew
With Chief Of Police Steven Smith
Kevin O’Connor was promoted to the rank of detective sergeant for the department. Detective O’Connor has been with the Locust Police Department since 2012 and his law enforcement career began in 2007. Prior to his career at Locust, Detective O’Connor had served as a sergeant with the Badin Police Department. Detective O’Connor served as a patrol officer with Locust until 2018 where he was promoted to patrol sergeant. In 2016 while still a patrol officer, Detective O’Connor served as lead investigator in a Locust burglary, rape, and kidnapping investigation that resulted in a guilty plea and substantial prison sentence for the offender. Detective O’Connor holds a bachelor’s degree from Five Towns College. Detective O’Connor also holds the general, intermediate, and advanced law enforcement certifications from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Detective O’Connor is also a certified general instructor with the state of North Carolina and serves as an instructor for both annual mandated in-service training as well as an instructor with Stanly Community College’s BLET program. Detective O’Connor is the co-coordinator for Locust Police Department’s “Shop With A Cop” program. He was awarded the “Everyday Hero” award by the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Foundation in 2016 for his work with Shop With A Cop and has been a finalist for the same award multiple years. Detective O’Connor was also awarded the Chiefs Award of Excellence in 2015. Detective O’Connor has completed more than 900 training hours during his career.
New Detective Sergeant Kevin O’Connor
With Chief Of Police Steven Smith
Chad Whitley was promoted to the rank of patrol sergeant for the department. Sergeant Whitley is a Stanly County native and a six-year United States Army veteran who served with the 1/501st Airborne Infantry as well as the Army National Guard. Sergeant Whitley graduated from Stanly Community College’s BLET program in 2009 and was awarded the program’s Top Gun award. Sergeant Whitley has been with the Locust Police Department since 2009 in the department’s patrol division. He was awarded the rank of corporal in 2018. Sergeant Whitley is a highly respected member of the Locust Police Department with extensive experience in conducting traffic enforcement and incident investigations. Sergeant Whitley holds the general and intermediate law enforcement certifications from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Educations and Training Standards Commission. Sergeant Whitley will be attending General Instructor School in 2020 and upon completion will be sent to Specialized Firearms Instructor School. Sergeant Whitley was awarded a meritorious conduct medal in 2016 for his role in a medical call involving serious injury. Sergeant Whitley has completed nearly 700 training hours during his career.
New Patrol Sergeant Chad Whitley
With Locust Mayor Steve Huber
Previously in September 2019, Brandon Stancil was promoted to the rank of patrol sergeant for the department. Sergeant Stancil is a Stanly County native, has been with the Locust Police Department since 2007, and began his law enforcement career in 2005 with the Oakboro Police Department. Sergeant Stancil was previously awarded the rank of corporal in 2018. Sergeant Stancil is a highly regarded traffic officer who has specialized in traffic law enforcement his entire career. He is the department’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program coordinator. Sergeant Stancil holds the general and intermediate law enforcement certifications from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Educations and Training Standards Commission. Sergeant Stancil was awarded a meritorious conduct medal in 2016 for his role in a medical call involving serious injury. Sergeant Stancil has completed more than 900 training hours during his career.
At Stanly Community College’s graduation ceremony for their most recent Basic Law Enforcement Training program class, two new Locust officers started their law enforcement career journey.
Josh Gardner, a Stanly County native who professed a childhood dream of working for the Locust Police Department officially received his NC BLET certificate. Officer Gardner’s first day with the Locust Police Department was on December 30th and he will be sworn in to begin in the department’s FTO program upon receiving approval from the state.
Patrol Sergeant Brandon Stancil
With BLET Graduate And New Locust Officer Josh Gardner
Derek Yang also officially received his NC BLET certificate and was awarded the program’s Officer Damon Smith Memorial Award for overall excellence and leadership in the class. Officer Yang’s first day with the Locust Police Department will be on January 13th and he will be sworn in to begin in the department’s FTO program upon receiving approval from the state.
BLET Graduate, Damon Smith Award Winner, And New Locust Officer Derek Yang
We congratulate all of these officers on their outstanding achievements, and we are so excited about the future of the Locust Police Department!
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Subject: Bomb Threat False Alarm – Sunrise Grill, 118 W Main St, Locust, NC 28097
Point Of Contact: Chief of Police Steven R. Smith (704-888-4744)
On Friday January 3rd, 2020 at approximately 8:50 am, an on-duty Locust patrol officer received a phone call from an employee of Sunrise Grill stating that the business had just received a phone call advising that there was a bomb inside the business. Locust officers responded immediately and evacuated the business while also notifying employees of businesses located on both sides of Sunrise Grill. An initial walk-through by Locust officers revealed no items or packages that appeared suspicious.
Per response protocol and out of an abundance of caution, the West Stanly Fire Department and Stanly County EMS staged on-scene in the event they were needed for fire, hazardous material, or injury response. Deputies from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office responded to provide any needed assistance, and K-9 deputies with bomb-sniffing dogs from the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office responded upon request. A walk-through by K-9 revealed no presence of a suspected bomb or suspicious item. The business was deemed to be safe and free of any type of bomb at approximately 10:25 am.
Investigators with the Locust Police Department are investigating the source of the phone call that claimed a bomb was in the business. If the individual is located, ALL applicable charges will be evaluated and pursued.
The Locust Police Department expresses our sincere appreciation to the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, Stanly County Communications, Stanly County EMS, Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, and West Stanly Fire Department for all assistance and response provided.
(SNAP) Suspect Flees Wreck Scene, Caught Hiding Behind House
The Locust Police Department assisted the NC State Highway Patrol in locating a subject who fled from a wrecked vehicle after attempting to elude a traffic stop. Tremendous teamwork by all agencies involved….
2019 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
A new era at the Locust Police Department begins……
Locust Captain Steven Smith was officially sworn in this morning as Chief of Police for the Locust Police Department. We are all excited to begin this next chapter under Chief Smith. Congratulations Chief!!
From the Locust Police Department, thank you for everything sir. You’ve earned it.
ONE CHAPTER REACHES ITS FINAL PAGES AND A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS
At the December Locust City Council meeting, a chapter in the history of the Locust Police Department reached its final pages and a new chapter to be written also began. Chief of Police Frank Hartsell who will officially retire on December 29th, 2019 was honored by council and Locust Captain Steven “Smitty” Smith was unanimously voted by council to be Chief Hartsell’s successor.
Chief Frank Hartsell is a western Stanly County native who began his career with the Locust Police Department in February 1991. He has served with Locust as a patrol officer, sergeant, detective, assistant chief, and has served as the department’s chief of police since 2010. Chief Hartsell has earned both the intermediate and advanced law enforcement certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission during his career. He is a certified general instructor and specialized firearms instructor with the state of North Carolina and an active instructor with Stanly Community College’s BLET program. Chief Hartsell has also served on the advisory board for Stanly Community College’s BLET and law enforcement continuing education programs and he serves as IT specialist for the municipalities and law enforcement agencies in western Stanly County. Chief Hartsell is known county-wide for his proficiency and expertise in both radio and computer system technology. Chief Hartsell was the 2019 recipient of the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation Career Service Award.
Chief Hartsell began his career with Locust in a 3-4 man department and serving an approximate city population of 2,400. Over the course of his career he has seen the population of Locust grow to an estimated 5,000 residents as of 2019 in a still rapidly growing city located 18 miles from Charlotte. He has overseen the Locust Police Department grow to a 13 member department that will add an additional 2 officers shortly after his retirement. Chief Hartsell has either contributed to or decided the hiring of every current Locust officer. Of those 12 officers, 7 have more than 10 years of experience in law enforcement, 3 hold the intermediate law enforcement certification, and 4 hold both the intermediate and advanced law enforcement certification. With the exception of 1 current officer, all of those officers earned those certifications while Chief Hartsell was assistant chief or chief of police. Additionally, 2 Locust officers have achieved their associate’s degree and 1 officer has earned both an associate’s and bachelor’s degree under Chief Hartsell. In total, 3 Locust officers hold an associate’s degree, 4 hold a bachelor’s degree, and 1 has their Master’s degree with another officer working towards the same achievement. Chief Hartsell’s focus on extensive training has resulted in one of the most highly trained officer rosters in Stanly County.
Under Chief Hartsell, the Locust Police Department has been highly successful in preventing high crime rates and apprehending violators in an increasingly populated city. During Chief Hartsell’s tenure as chief, the City of Locust has had a daily occurrence average of just 0.49 total larcenies (business, personal, vehicle, residential), and a 0.14 daily average occurrence of personal larcenies (personal, vehicle, residential). In all assault activity the city has experienced a daily average occurrence of just .07. In 2018 under Chief Hartsell the Locust Police Department had a clearance rate of 69.9% in criminal incidents and 78.2% for property crime and fraud incidents. Through August of 2019 LPD had a 67.5% clearance rate for criminal incidents and 66.5% for property crime and fraud.
During his tenure as chief, Chief Hartsell has always placed a heavy and valued emphasis on community policing. Chief Hartsell believes in a strong personal relationship with residents and businesses in Locust, to be highly approachable and kind while still performing our required job duties. He is a firm believer in quality and thoughtful officer discretion and always holding ourselves to the highest ethical standard. Chief Hartsell has kept a welcoming open door policy throughout his career and when Locust folks come to the Locust Police Department, they ask for “Frank” not “Chief Hartsell”.
The Locust Police Department and all of its officers thank Chief Hartsell for his service, all he has done to contribute to our careers, and his significant contributions to the safety and security of residents, visitors, and businesses in the city of Locust. He has earned a well-deserved retirement. Congratulations Chief!
Captain Steven “Smitty” Smith is a Locust native who began his law enforcement career in 1997 with the Locust Police Department. He also has served stints with the Monroe Police Department and Kannapolis Police Department before returning to Locust in 2007. With the Locust Police Department, Captain Smith has served as a patrol officer, patrol sergeant, and has served as second in command as captain since 2016. Captain Smith holds an associate degree in criminal justice, both the intermediate and advanced law enforcement certification with the state, and recently graduated South Piedmont Community College’s Law Enforcement Management Academy (LEMA). Like Chief Hartsell, Captain Smith is well known by so many in Locust and western Stanly County, and believes in strong community relationships that coincide with fair but firm law enforcement operations. All of the officers of the Locust Police Department endorsed Captain Smith for the position and we are so happy for his achievement. Congratulations Captain (soon to be Chief) Smith on this outstanding achievement and we are excited to work under you as our leader!
Chief Hartsell’s last working day will be Friday December 27th, and a retirement drop-in celebration is scheduled for Tuesday December 17th from 12 pm – 3 pm in the Locust City Council chambers. Captain Smith will be sworn in as chief of police on Monday December 30th at 9 am also in the Locust City Council chambers.
2015 LOCUST HOMICIDE RESULTS IN 2ND DEGREE MURDER PLEA
On July 24th, 2015 the Locust Police Department responded to annexed property of Locust located at 8300 NC Hwy 200 in Cabarrus County and the report of a human body that had been set on fire. Upon arrival, Locust officers found a badly burned deceased female later identified as Ms. Donna Marie Helms-Perez who had suffered blunt force trauma to the head as well as multiple stab wounds. Assistance with processing of the crime scene and initial investigation was provided by the NC State Bureau of Investigation and the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office.
Mr. Randy Lee “Bubba” Edwards quickly emerged as a person of interest after a suicide attempt that same evening in Concord with investigation assistance provided by the Concord Police Department. Additional investigation and investigative findings over the next few days resulted in warrants obtained for Mr. Edwards on the charge of murder of Ms. Helms-Perez. Mr. Edwards was placed under arrest on August 1st, 2015 after release from a medical facility.
Over the following six-plus months investigators with the Locust Police Department, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Concord Police Department, and Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office completed extensive background and corroborative investigation involving follow-ups on investigative findings, interviews, and the submission of evidence to the NC Crime Lab. Mr. Edwards’ trial on the charge of murder was scheduled to begin at the end of May 2019.
On Thursday May 9th, 2019 Mr. Edwards who is now 64 years old, pled guilty to the second-degree murder of Ms. Helms-Perez. He was sentenced to a prison term of a minimum of 290 months to a maximum of 360 months (approximately 24 – 30 years).
The Locust Police Department hopes that this sentence provides some closure and justice being served for the family and friends of Ms. Helms-Perez.
The Locust Police Department would also like to extend our utmost sincere appreciation to the NC State Bureau of Investigation, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, Concord Police Department, and the Cabarrus County District Attorney’s Office for all of their assistance and work on this investigation and case.
LOCUST OFFICERS WIN AWARDS FOR SERVICE
Officer Dwayne Dietz (L) and Chief Frank Hartsell (R) with their awards from the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Foundation
The Locust Police Department is so proud of Chief of Police Frank Hartsell and Officer Dwayne Dietz for the recognition they received at the 2019 Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Foundation Awards Dinner.
Officer Dwayne Dietz was awarded the officer nominated “Got Your Six” award. He is a 7-year veteran of the Locust Police Department. In his nomination, the nominating officer noted Officer Dietz’s work ethic as an excellent example to younger officers, and his unwavering willingness to serve his community and assist other officers. It was also noted that Officer Dietz “is “the guy” that you want to see roll up on those tough traffic stops or bad calls.”
Chief of Police Frank Hartsell has served in law enforcement in Western Stanly County and specifically the Locust Police Department for more than 28 years. He has served as the chief of police for Locust since 2010. He is scheduled to retire in December 2019 where he will be just the second Locust officer to retire from the police department in its history. Chief Hartsell is known county-wide for his proficiency and skill as a firearms instructor, as well as in radio and computer technologies. He is an instructor for both Stanly Community College and for area agencies in mandated in-service training, and he also serves on multiple advisory committees in Stanly County. Chief Hartsell has spent his entire life in Western Stanly County and he brings those roots to how he directs the Locust Police Department. He expects all of his officers to perform their duties efficiently and more importantly ethically, and he also expects his officers to get to know the community they serve personally. This mindset is seen almost daily as area residents come to the police department to ask a question or present a concern. It’s never that they need to speak with “the chief of police”, and instead it’s always “I need to speak to Frank” knowing his door is always open to listen and assist. His philosophies on law enforcement and his leadership style have resulted in a heavily community-involved law enforcement agency that is one of the most respected in Stanly County.
The Locust Police Department would also like to congratulate Albemarle Officer Kim Cook for being awarded the Everyday Hero award and Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Tristan Furr for being awarded Stanly County Officer of the Year.
2018 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
**NOTE** $33,817 starting salary is for basic entry level officers such as those currently enrolled in BLET or BLET graduates that also have no prior experience or higher learning completion. Starting salary may be higher for lateral transfer officers and/or officers with extensive training or education.
WE ARE STILL HIRING and accepting applications at one of the fastest growing cities in North Carolina! Apply NOW to join an agency with tremendous growth potential as the population of Locust is expected to potentially double within the next 5 years! For more information, contact Detective Shew at email@example.com or through direct message.
***Locust Police Department Crime Advisory Alert***
November 14th, 2018
Stanly County has again begun experiencing incidents of unlocked vehicle break-ins in the last couple of months. These incidents have also included Locust albeit to a less extent than in other areas of the county. Subdivisions where houses are located close together are the usual target of these types of break-ins. In the Locust incidents thus far, the loss of valuable items have not been substantial, however this does not minimize the overall threat and blatant violation in these types of offenses. The Locust Police Department would like to advise you of the best way to prevent these types of incidents as well as eliminate any loss of valuables, or the feeling of your personal property being violated.
There are two keys to these break-ins occurring and they are both remedied easily. The first being that the vehicles victimized have all been left UNLOCKED and second, valuables such as electronics have been left in these unlocked vehicles.
Below I have included an advisory I issued back in February of 2012. You will notice the similarities. As I always say, crimes of opportunity such as these are largely eliminated if you eliminate the opportunity. Simply put, keep the valuables out of your vehicles overnight at your homes, and lock your doors.
Everyone stay safe and take care.
VEHICLE BREAK-INS CRIME PREVENTION REMINDER FROM THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT
Unlocked vehicle break-ins are still a major on-going problem in Stanly County. There is no concrete evidence but this is one reason why a home security camera benefits your home. This will allow you to catch them on camera for the courts to see during trial. These break-ins are all being perpetrated by the same individual(s) however, the method has stayed consistent. These thieves are checking for unlocked doors on vehicles and upon finding one, they search through the cars looking for easily removed electronics such as GPS devices, firearms, and money including small amounts of loose change. The perpetrators are even stealing the vehicle if they find a key inside the vehicle anywhere. These individuals are also not just checking a couple of vehicles, they are canvassing entire areas looking for unlocked vehicles to steal from.
The Locust Police Department is reminding all citizens of the following preventative measures:
– Keep all items of value OUT of your vehicle(s), especially in the late night and early morning hours.
– KEEP YOUR VEHICLE(S) LOCKED AND YOUR WINDOWS UP WHEN YOU WILL BE AWAY FROM YOUR VEHICLE(S), EVEN IF YOU WILL ONLY BE AWAY FOR A FEW MINUTES. It is still a good idea to keep your vehicle(s) secure even if you have removed all valuables.
– Record serial numbers for any items of value that have a serial number and keep this information in a safe place you will remember. Stolen items can be identified through serial numbers if they are attempted to be sold or pawned by thieves.
– NEVER EVER keep a key for the vehicle anywhere near the vehicle. Keep any extra keys in secure locations away from the vehicle. Do not assume you have the “perfect” spot for your back-up key.
– If you notice through press sources that one or more individuals has been arrested for vehicle break-ins in Stanly County, do not assume that the problem has been solved. Breaking in unlocked vehicles has become a major problem nationwide and obviously the same individuals are not responsible for break-ins everywhere.
– If your vehicle is equipped with a car alarm and you hear it go off in the late night or early morning hours, call 911 as soon as possible.
– If you observe ANY suspicious activity around your residence or neighborhood (suspicious vehicles, persons, or activity), especially in the late night and early morning hours, you may call 911 for emergencies and (704)986-3700 for non-emergencies in Stanly County, (704)920-3000 for non-emergencies in Cabarrus County sections of Locust. It is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.
The Locust Police Department patrols all neighborhoods and areas in Locust however, be aware that if these individuals are on foot while in neighborhoods, it is easy to hide in the shadows if they notice a vehicle driving down the road. The Locust Police Department is asking all citizens to help us prevent break-ins and thefts in our city. Simple tasks such as locking a door or taking an item inside with you at night can make all the difference in preventing the loss of valuable items, and will help to discourage thieves from committing larcenies in Locust. For more crime prevention and safety tips please contact the Locust Police Department or you may request materials by contacting Officer Shew by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCUST OFFICER HONORED
The Locust Police Department is proud to announce that Officer Hannah Claiborne has been named as a finalist nominee for 2017/2018 Stanly County Officer of the Year by the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Foundation. This year’s silent auction and awards banquet will be Thursday May 10th at 6 pm at Il Bella Gardens. Please consider showing your support for the Jeff Shelton foundation, Stanly County law enforcement, and Officer Claiborne by attending this year’s event. Great job Hannah!!!
LOCUST POLICE PLAY MAJOR ROLE IN ARREST OF TWO-STATE SERIAL ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT
As reported on both WSOC television and in the Stanly News & Press among other publications, the Locust Police Department and specifically Patrol Officer Hannah Claiborne played a major role in the arrest of Ron Houser of Stallings, NC. Houser is suspected of multiple armed robberies of Dollar Generals in both North and South Carolina since 2016 including three recent robberies of Dollar General stores in Stanly County.
After learning of the three robberies in Stanly County as well as discovering that the same suspect was believed to be responsible for numerous other robberies in both Carolinas, Locust investigators began compiling information about the other robberies to send alert advisories to Locust officers to combat the possibility of a robbery at the Locust Dollar General location. As these crimes were on the database, it was easier for the team to gather this information. Being able to check on individuals’ criminal history is not just beneficial for the police force, but businesses too. For example, if your company is based in the New South Wales of Australia, you could look into something like nsw police check to provide police certificates to individuals looking for employment, education or other legal needs. They can also be used to look into the criminal history of employees. On February 21st, Officer Claiborne was patrolling West Main Street and observed a vehicle fitting the description of one believed to be associated with other robberies parked at Dollar General in Locust. Officer Claiborne was able to acquire the license plate information of the vehicle and discovered it was registered to Houser. Security camera video acquired from the business showed that Houser, and specifically the clothing he wore, had a strong resemblance to the serial armed robbery suspect. Houser’s criminal history also showed a previous 19 year stint in prison for armed robbery offenses. Further review of the surveillance video at Dollar General showed Houser to commit a larceny of energy shots while in the business. In addition to acquiring an arrest warrant for Houser on the misdemeanor larceny charge, information obtained by Officer Claiborne was distributed to other agencies investigating similar robberies. Those agencies were able to confirm through investigation that Houser was in fact the individual who committed the robberies in their jurisdictions including one where he also beat a female store clerk. Houser was located and arrested less than 24 hours later.
After learning that Houser’s “MO” was to “case” business locations several days before committing a robbery, it is strongly believed that Officer Claiborne’s observance and vigilance prevented an armed robbery from occurring in Locust, and also played a major role in putting Houser behind bars for robberies believed to have occurred in at least 20 different jurisdictions. Outstanding police work Hannah!
JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2018 FELONY AND DWI ARRESTS
01/08/18 – Kristina Jenel Hicks of Rockwell, NC – Possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia.
01/08/18 – Michael Earl Perry of Gold Hill, NC – Possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of Schedule II.
01/12/18 – Ashley O’Mia Herndon of Albemarle, NC – Attempt to obtain property by false pretense.
01/20/18 – Rebecca Lynn Prince of Midland, NC – Obtain property by false pretense, misdemeanor larceny.
01/20/18 – Dallas David McSheehan of Midland, NC – Obtain property by false pretense.
01/20/18 – Carlos Enrique Garcia of Locust, NC – Felony possession of Schedule I, felony possession of Schedule II, simple possession of Schedule VI, unauthorized use of motor vehicle.
01/25/18 – Rayfield Taylor of Charlotte, NC – Felony larceny, felony larceny by removal of anti-theft device.
01/29/18 – Shae Eileen Sansbury of Landis, NC – Obtain property by false pretense.
01/30/18 – Donny Ray Baker of Mint Hill, NC – Felony larceny by removal of anti-theft device, misdemeanor larceny.
02/13/18 – Stanley Maurice Walker of Midland, NC – Driving while impaired.
02/16/18 – Terry Clyde Hatley of Waxhaw, NC – Driving while impaired.
02/28/18 – Cameron Alexzander Horne of Stanfield, NC – Felony larceny by removal of anti-theft device.
On August 31st, 2016 Locust officers investigated the report of a burglary, sexual assault, and kidnapping by a female victim residing at a North Central Avenue residence. The alleged offender was the victim’s ex-boyfriend who had previously resided with the victim. After investigation, on September 15th, 2016 Jack LaBrittan Smith of Mount Holly, Stanfield, and Locust was apprehended in Gaston County on warrants obtained by the Locust Police Department. Smith was charged with 1st degree rape, 2nd degree burglary, 1st degree kidnapping, felonious restraint, assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a female, and communicating threats. Smith had been incarcerated in Gaston County and the Stanly County Jail since the date of arrest.
On February 1st, 2018, Smith pled guilty to second degree rape, second degree burglary, and first degree kidnapping. As a result of the plea, Smith received a prison sentence of a minimum of 7 years and 2 months to a maximum of 9 years and 8 months. Smith will also be required to be a registered sex offender for life.
LOCUST OFFICER RECEIVES INTERMEDIATE CERTIFICATION
At the February Locust City Council meeting, Locust Patrol Officer Trent Middlebrook was awarded his intermediate law enforcement certification by Locust Chief of Police Frank Hartsell. The intermediate law enforcement certification is awarded by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and recognizes extensive training completed by the officer as well as years of service. In Officer Middlebrook’s case, his previous achievement of completing his associate’s degree at Stanly Community College along with other training allowed him to achieve this certification after just four years of service.
Officer Middlebrook has been with the Locust Police Department since January of 2014. He is a two time recipient of Stanly County Officer of the Year by the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation in 2015 and 2016 and he was recognized by the Stanly County Rotary Club as Stanly County Officer of the Year in 2015.
Locust Officer Trent Middlebrook
With 2015 Officer Of The Year Award
2017 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
LOCUST OFFICER FINISHES BACHELOR’S DEGREE
On December 16th, Locust Detective Jeff Shew graduated from Western Carolina University’s distance learning program with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Detective Shew finished his degree with a 3.971 grade point average earning summa cum laude honors. During his time at Western, Detective Shew was also awarded membership to the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society for Adult Learners.
Previously, Detective Shew was a 2014 graduate of Stanly Community College’s Criminal Justice program where he also received an Outstanding Criminal Justice graduate recognition as well as being awarded the Edward J. Snyder Jr. Exceptional Scholars Award.
Detective Shew has been with the Locust Police Department since 2009 and has served as the agency’s full-time investigator after six years as a patrol officer. Detective Shew currently holds an intermediate law enforcement certification awarded to North Carolina officers by the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission for a specified level of experience, education, and training. Detective Shew earning his bachelor’s degree now qualifies him to be a recipient of the Advanced Law Enforcement Certification, the highest certification level North Carolina officers can receive.
Detective Shew will begin pursuing his Master’s of Criminal Justice degree in the Fall of 2018 through East Carolina University’s distance learning program.
Detective Jeff Shew During His Tenure As A Patrol Officer
LOCUST TRAINING ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Locust Officer Kevin O’Connor in October completed the two-week General Instructor Certification program and passed the NC State General Instructor exam. Officer O’Connor as a general instructor is able to teach most NC authorized law enforcement instruction topics, and he has already begun instruction of the Domestic Violence response topic at Stanly Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program. Officer O’Connor is the fourth certified instructor employed at the Locust Police Department. Great job Kevin!
Locust Officer Kevin O’Connor
AS SEEN ON THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT FACEBOOK PAGE
*Note – Although we do not utilize it extensively for public relations activities, the Locust Police Department does have an official Facebook page that we invite you to follow (https://www.facebook.com/Locust-Police-Department-971105932951713/) . Here are some of the most recent posts:
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CONDUCT “MUSTACHEMBER” PROJECT TO HONOR AND SUPPORT WARRIOR JACE
In honor of the bravest little warrior we know, members of the Locust Police Department grew and kept the classic cop “stache” from November 15th – December 15th in an event we dubbed “Mustachember 2017″……Some of Locust’s finest were a little more successful than others (some are still waiting for the facial hair part of puberty to kick in) but nevertheless, we all came together to show our admiration and support for “Warrior” Jace Thompson. Jace will also be receiving a department card and donation in the coming days. Jace…..you are our hero, our prayers are with you, and we will ALWAYS have your six.
Jace is the four-year-old son of NC State Highway Patrol Sergeant Eric Thompson and Cornelius PD Captain Jennifer Thompson. He was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor in October and has been touching and inspiring others every day since then. To learn more about Warrior Jace and how you can help show your support for this special little boy, please visit the Warrior Jace Facebook page at:
SHOP WITH A COP EVENT A SUCCESS FOR THE THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
For the third straight year, Locust Officers Brittany Tucker and Kevin O’Connor along with the assistance of the Stanfield and Oakboro Police Department coordinated the Shop With A Cop event for Western Stanly County children in need. See the link to the Shop With A Cop Facebook page for more information about this year’s event as well as a link to a wonderful write-up about the event from the Stanly News & Press. Great job guys and ladies!!!
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CONTRIBUTES TO OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
The City of Locust and Locust Police Department were once again this year proud to participate in and support Operation Christmas Child. This year city staff and Locust officers packed 25 shoe-boxes full of gifts for underprivileged children in other countries. #ipackedashoebox
From L-R: Officer Dustin Wells, Officer Kevin O’Connor, Detective Jeff Shew, City Administrator Cesar Correa, And City Employee Mandy Thomas with Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT SUPPORTS ONLINE EXCHANGE ZONE AT LOCUST GOVERNMENT CENTER
The Locust Police Department is proud to support the Online Exchange Zone now located in front of the Locust Government Center. This zone allows for safer online purchasing/trade transactions at a location that always has police vehicles present and very often has Locust officers on-scene as well. This online exchange zone idea was completely coordinated by Ms. Katherine Bennett, a West Stanly High School student who has made it her project to establish these zones in every municipality in Stanly County. Katherine is an outstanding example of a young person taking the initiative to present ideas to make Stanly County safer and an even better place to live. To Katherine we say thank you for all of the hard work you did on this project. JOB WELL DONE!
(Reminder – Although the Online Exchange Zone sign is located on a Handicap Parking sign post, please do not utilize the Handicap Parking spot unless you are authorized to do so. Thanks)
JUVENILE REPORTED IN FREEZING TEMPS AND EARLY MORNING HOURS
We routinely tell you that the Locust Police Department Facebook page is for investigations involving Facebook profiles only however given the circumstances we believe it’s appropriate to share this post:
The Locust Police Department received a dispatched call from Stanly Communications in reference to a juvenile female walking in the parking lot area of the Locust McDonalds and Wal-Mart location at 3:38:10 am. First Locust officer arrived on-scene to attempt to locate the juvenile at 3:38:48 am (38 second response time).
At that time an extensive and detailed search of the area began involving multiple agencies including the Locust Police Department, Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, Stanfield Police Department, and West Stanly Fire Department who provided thermal imaging technology. Additionally, reverse 911 protocol was utilized that initially included a 5 mile radius and was then expanded to 15 miles. Stanly County email notification was also utilized. Multiple media outlets have also reported on this investigation.
After nearly 3 1/2 hours the search was ended after no juvenile was located, no evidence suggesting any type of suspicious activity or foul play was found, and no calls were received reporting a missing or runaway juvenile.
As of 11:15 am this morning (10/30), no calls have been received by Stanly Communications or the Locust Police Department reporting a missing or runaway juvenile.
This investigation is still considered open however at this time there is nothing more that can be pursued based on the known facts and no received reports of missing or runaway juveniles.
The Locust Police Department thanks all assisting agencies, media sources that have reported the situation, and all concerned citizens that have contacted us.
2017 Crime Briefs To Date
(Some of the notable crime events and arrests by the Locust Police Department from September to December 2017)
- On September 24th, Locust officers responded to a larceny in progress at the Locust Wal-Mart where the suspect Mr. Tyrone Gleaton of Polkton was attempting to leave the area. When officers attempted to stop Gleaton he fled at a high rate of speed entering the eastbound lane of NC 24/27 striking a vehicle. Gleaton then attempted again to flee by traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of NC 24-27. Just prior to Pine Bluff Road Gleaton struck two other vehicles which disabled his vehicle. He was arrested without further incident. Gleaton was charged in Stanly County with a felony larceny offense and he was charged in Cabarrus County with multiple charges related to fleeing to elude arrest. He was also advised to take a defensive driving course at places like www.myimprov.com/defensive-driving/texas/ to hopefully make him a more wary, and much more safer driver in future.
- On September 27th, a vehicle operated by Mr. Duran Davis of Albemarle was stopped for failing to maintain lane control. Davis was found to have a suspended driver’s license and officers also smelled marijuana in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle uncovered a controlled substance medication, marijuana, and more than eight grams of cocaine. Davis was arrested on multiple drug charges.
- On October 1st, Ms. Amanda Hamed of Concord was arrested after Locust officers responded to a fraud investigation at Wal-Mart. During investigation, Hamed was found to have methamphetamine concealed in her sock.
- On October 16th, Mr. Nathaniel Payne of Locust was found to have used a family member’s debit card without authorization at the Locust Wal-Mart and Woodforest Bank located inside of Wal-Mart. Payne used the debit card to withdraw $200 and then also utilized the card to purchase more than $80 worth of merchandise from the business. Felony warrants were obtained for Payne and he was arrested on October 29th. Another investigation involving Payne was initiated in December after suspicious activity was reported by First Bank of Locust. After the completion of that investigation, multiple felony warrants were obtained for Payne for charges related to identity theft and financial fraud.
- On October 27th, Mr. Damon Broussard of Columbia, South Carolina attempted to cash a check for $3800 at the Locust Wells Fargo location. That check was determined to be fraudulent and Mr. Broussard was arrested by Locust officers.
- On November 10th, Locust officers responded to a report of suspicious activity at Wal-Mart. The involved vehicle driven by Ms. Hayley Broadway of Oakboro was stopped on a Locust highway after officers confirmed Broadway had a suspended driver’s license. Investigation during the stop implicated Broadway and vehicle passengers Ms. Brandy Bracey, and Mr. Brandon Sells of a larceny at the business of more than $170 worth of merchandise. A search of the vehicle uncovered methamphetamine and a rifle that was later confirmed to be stolen from a Stanly County residence. Broadway was arrested for the possession of meth and later charged by the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office on charges related to the theft of the firearm. Bracey and Sells were cited for misdemeanor larceny.
LOCUST OFFICER EXCELS IN DWI DETECTION
Locust Police Department Officer Trent Middlebrook continues to excel in traffic and DWI enforcement for the Locust Police Department this year. Currently through September, Officer Middlebrook has made 33 DWI arrests in 2017, an astounding number for a population the size of Locust. Although he has only been a sworn officer for three years, Officer Middlebrook discovered very early a knack for the identification of impaired drivers. If you have been arrested for a DWI then it might be a good idea to get yourself, even if you are innocent. You can check out a website like https://cannonlawtexas.com/ to give you a better idea of what to do next. Officer Middlebrook has contributed to his natural instincts by completing more than 200 hours of training related to DWI enforcement. Officer Middlebrook is certified as a standardized field sobriety testing (SFST) instructor, and is close to completing certification as one of the regions few certified drug recognition experts (DRE). Officer Middlebrook has also been qualified in Stanly County court as an expert witness in the testifying of the HGN test included in the SFST battery of testing.
Officer Middlebrook was the 2016 and 2017 recipient of the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation Stanly County Officer of the Year award and he was the 2016 recipient of the Albemarle Rotary Club Stanly County Officer of the Year. It is well known that Officer Middlebrook could take his talents to any larger agency and he has standing offers with multiple agencies however he has expressed his desire to remain in Locust as long as he can. We hope he is able to make an entire career at the Locust Police Department. Job well done Trent!!
WELCOME BACK TO LOCUST OFFICER
Back on January 23rd, Locust Officer Dwayne Dietz responded to a felony fraud crime in progress at Wal-Mart. After confronting the suspect’s vehicle driven by Mr. Milo Tyler, Tyler fled from the area at a high rate of speed resulting in Officer Dietz and Cabarrus County deputies pursuing. In the area of Allen Fire Department on Hwy 601 in Concord, Tyler lost control of his vehicle and crashed then attempted to flee on foot. Officer Dietz pursued Tyler on foot but his pursuit ended after breaking his lower leg in three places. Tyler was apprehended a short time later by assisting officers, while Officer Dietz was transported to the hospital for emergency surgery.
Since that incident, Mr. Tyler pled guilty to multiple charges related to that day and is currently incarcerated in the North Carolina prison system. Officer Dietz endured multiple surgeries and intensive rehab on his lower leg, an injury that doctors said could have been career ending. On September 1st, more than 6 months after his injury, Officer Dwayne Dietz returned to duty as a patrol officer for the Locust Police Department. Please join us in welcoming back Officer Dietz if you see him out in the community. He is a good man, an outstanding officer, and an integral part of the Locust Police Department family.
Officer Dietz has been with Locust since 2012. He was a 2016 nominee for the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation “Got Your Six” award and a 2017 nominee for Stanly County Officer of the Year. Welcome back Dwayne!!
2017 Crime Briefs To Date
(Some of the notable crime events and arrests by the Locust Police Department from June to August 2017)
- On June 22nd, Locust Police responded to Wal-Mart and the report of a female using counterfeit $100 bills to purchase merchandise. This was reported to be the third incident involving the same suspect. Locust officers were able to apprehend Ms. Christy Russell Gainey of Albemarle. After investigation and interview, Ms. Gainey was charged with multiple felony counts involving fraud and counterfeiting for all three incidents in Locust, and additional incidents occurring in Albemarle. On July 31st, Gainey pled guilty to the charges.
- On July 19th, a victim from Stanfield reported her bank debit card being used to withdraw money multiple times from Locust ATMs without her authorization. Total reported loss was $1320. After investigation, Ms. Shelly Dawn Page of Stanfield was identified as the offender and a warrant was issued for her arrest on multiple felony charges involving fraud and identity theft. Page was arrested on July 29th.
- On July 29th, a vehicle driven by Ms. Shannon Marie Laney of Stanfield was stopped on West Main Street due to the vehicle displaying a fictitious registration plate. During investigation, a consent search of the vehicle uncovered multiple pipes containing a substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine and multiple bags containing an identical substance. Laney was arrested and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and the possession of drug paraphernalia.
- On August 5th, a vehicle driven by Mr. Christopher James Dennis of Stanfield was stopped after a Locust officer observed a failure to maintain lane control violation on West Main Street. During the stop, a plain view observation of drug paraphernalia in the vehicle was made and a search of the vehicle followed. During the search, multiple items of drug paraphernalia were found including a digital scale and multiple small plastic baggies. Also found was a plastic bag containing 2.2 grams of a substance believed to be methamphetamine. Dennis was arrested and charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance as well as the possession of drug paraphernalia.
- On August 8th, a vehicle operated by Mr. John Wayne Simmons Jr. of Mt. Pleasant and occupied by Ms. Sherry Ann Reed of Mt. Pleasant was stopped for displaying a fictitious plate on West Main Street. Simmons attempted to provide false information to Locust officers during investigation. Reed, who was established to be the owner of the vehicle consented to a search of the vehicle and also admitted to having a firearm in her purse. Drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle and Reed was charged with the possession as well as a concealed weapons violation. After investigation it was determined that the firearm Reed possessed had the serial number removed from the gun. A warrant was issued for Reed for felony possession of a gun with an altered or destroyed serial number.
- On August 9th, a motorcycle operated by Mr. Steven Austin Cline of Midland was approximated to be traveling in excess of 60 mph on West Main Street near Commercial Boulevard, a 45 mph zone area. When Locust officers attempted to stop Mr. Cline he began weaving heavily through traffic and failed to yield to oncoming traffic as it turned onto Pine Bluff Road. Cline then began traveling at speeds between 80 and 100 mph attempting to elude Locust officers. Cline was apprehended when he lost control of the motorcycle at a driveway on Hopewell Church Road. Cline did not appear to be injured and he was apprehended for multiple charges including felony flee to elude an officer. Cline’s motorcycle was seized and impounded.
SCAM ATTEMPTS REMINDERS
(Photo Credit: SurveyMonkey.com)
On an extremely regular basis, we are approached by Locust citizens who have received questionable mail or email offers, or advisories of money owed. On every single one of these occasions it has been a scam attempt. Whether it’s a sweepstakes, Ebay, Craig’s List, IRS, Federal Law Enforcement, utility or insurance company, or a multitude of others not named, there’s a million ways “to skin a cat” when it comes to attempting a scam. These types of crimes are easy to commit as all it takes is a computer, a phone, or publisher software. They can also be attempted from the comfort of another state or country using fraudulent identifications and fraudulent or temporary phone numbers. No law enforcement agency has the resources to attempt to locate these types of criminals so the best recourse for us is always education.
The two most simple rules to follow when you receive a questionable offer or demand by phone, email, or mail is that 1) If it sounds too good to be true, it most definitely is and 2) If a company or an individual is claiming you owe money, your account has been compromised, or whatever else they may try to convince you of, give the source that is contacting you NO information. You should then find contact information for that company or source independent of the method that was used to contact you (example – If a company sends you an email claiming you owe money, do not utilize the contact info in the email. Use a phone book or internet search engine (Google, Yahoo, etc.) to find contact information for that company and use that information to contact), then contact the official company to find out if what you received was legitimate or not. Almost every time, you will find that it was a scam, and even if it is not you should always treat it as it is until you discover otherwise.
Feel free to email Detective Shew at email@example.com if you have any questions about different scam attempts, and you can also consult some of our resources on the Locust PD website.
LOCUST OFFICERS HONORED AT ANNUAL EVENT
On May 11th, the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation held its annual awards dinner and silent auction to honor Stanly County officers and raise money for the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation. It has become an annual tradition in Stanly County to both honor those currently serving as well as honoring those who served that gave the ultimate sacrifice. As has also become an annual tradition, multiple Locust officers were nominated for awards with two of Locust’s finest coming away award winners.
On the nominee side for the Locust Police Department, Officers Trent Middlebrook and Dwayne Dietz were nominated as Stanly County Officer of the Year. Officer Dustin Wells was a finalist for the officer nominated “Got Your Six” award, and Officer Middlebrook, Officer Kevin O’Connor, Officer Brittany Tucker, and Detective Jeff Shew were finalists for the community nominated “Everyday Hero” award.
Coming away as award winners for Locust, Officer Dustin Wells was awarded the “Got Your Six” award after being nominated by Officer Hannah Claiborne for his swift response and timely action in assisting her with two suspects in a vehicle discovered to be stolen out of Charlotte. Due to week-long Intox Operator Certification training that Officer Wells is currently enrolled in, he was unable to be at the event. Locust Captain Steven Smith accepted the award on Officer Wells’ behalf.
Also, for the second straight year Officer Trent Middlebrook was named as Stanly County Officer of the Year. Officer Middlebrook again led the department in arrests, DWI arrests, and drug seizures as well as playing a vital role in the investigation and arrest of two Locust residents who were discovered to be selling drugs from their residences. Officer Middlebrook also achieved the status of instructor in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, and is close to achieving the status as one of the few Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) in the region. Officer Middlebrook also completed his two-year Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice in addition to his job duties.
Stanfield Chief of Police Corie Faggart was awarded the “Everyday Hero” award after being nominated by a member of the community. Albemarle Officer Josh Laws and Oakboro Captain Craig Richards were each awarded the “Heart of a Hero” award, a new award added this year. Officer Laws rescued a man from a burning house in 2016, and Captain Richards resuscitated an Oakboro Post Office employee after they had stopped breathing while at work.
Honoring those who have served that we have lost on what is the 10th anniversary of Officer Jeff Shelton being killed in the line of duty, Stanly County Sheriff’s Detective Jamie Shue was honored posthumously with the Outstanding Career Service award. Detective Shue passed away in March after battling non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. His family was in attendance to accept the award in his honor.
Oakboro Officer Damon Smith who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1996 was also honored. Officer Smith’s family was in attendance to receive a commemorative “locker box” containing equipment and items Officer Smith used in the line of duty. Some of the items in the box including Officer Smith’s service weapon were carried on his uniform on the day that he lost his life in the line of duty. Officer Smith’s family was also informed by Oakboro Chief of Police TJ Smith that Oakboro’s Police Department building was being named the “Officer Damon Smith Building”.
The Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation was started by Officer Shelton’s widow Jennifer to honor Officer Shelton’s memory and create a scholarship in his name for criminal justice students. Officer Jeff Shelton was a Locust resident and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Officer who along with his partner Officer Sean Clarke was ambushed, shot and killed in the line of duty in 2007 during a domestic disturbance call.
Locust Officers nominated for 2017 awards
(L-R): Officer Trent Middlebrook, Captain Steven Smith (accepted award on Officer Dustin Wells’ behalf), Officer Dwayne Dietz, Officer Brittany Tucker, Detective Jeff Shew
(Unable to attend – Officer Dustin Wells, Officer Kevin O’Connor)
Locust Officer Trent Middlebrook with his 2017 Stanly County Officer of the Year award
2017 Award Winners (L-R):
Locust Officer Trent Middlebrook (Officer of the Year), Oakboro Captain Craig Richards (Heart of a Hero), Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jamie Shue’s twin brother Jason Shue and Detective Shue’s daughters (Accepting Detective Shue’s posthumous Outstanding Career Service Award), Mike Hinson and Jennifer Shelton (Chief Officers of the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation), Albemarle Officer Josh Laws (Heart of a Hero), Stanfield Chief Corie Faggart (Everyday Hero)
(Unable to attend) Locust Officer Dustin Wells (Got Your Six Award)
2017 Crime Briefs Through June
(Some of the notable crime events and arrests by the Locust Police Department through June 2017)
- On January 23rd, Locust Officer Dwayne Dietz responded to a felony crime in progress involving fraud at the Locust Wal-Mart. When he arrived he attempted to stop the vehicle of the suspect when the suspect fled at a high rate of speed. Officer Dietz along with Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies pursued the suspect who engaged in numerous reckless and dangerous maneuvers while also fleeing at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. In the vicinity of the Allen Fire Department on Hwy 601 in Concord, the driver lost control of his vehicle crashing into a utility pole and coming to rest in a gully area on the side of the road. Officer Dietz pursued the suspect on foot having to jump on top of the suspect’s vehicle due to the terrain. When Officer Dietz jumped from the vehicle to continue his foot pursuit, he broke his lower left leg in three places. The suspect, Mr. Milo Daniel Tyler of Charlotte was arrested a short distance away by responding officers. Tyler is charged with multiple felony charges in both Stanly and Cabarrus County and is currently incarcerated in Cabarrus County Jail awaiting trial. Officer Dietz continues rehab on his leg and is expected to be able to return to duty in July or August.
- On March 13th, a vehicle driven by Ms. Stormy Troutman Douglas of Locust was stopped on West Main Street due to Douglas driving with a suspended driver’s license. Upon investigation during the stop of items found, Douglas was arrested and charged with trafficking opium, and possession of marijuana.
- On March 17th, a motorcycle operated by Mr. Brandon Scott Smith of Mint Hill was clocked at 62 in a 45 mph zone on West Main Street near Commercial Blvd. A traffic stop was attempted by Locust officers but Smith attempted to evade by weaving in and out of the traffic flow in the eastbound lane traveling toward Albemarle. Smith continued to evade at speeds in excess of 100 mph. After more than 14 miles Smith was stopped without incident and arrested. Smith was charged with felony flee to elude among other charges.
- On April 14th in early morning hours, a Locust Dominos Pizza delivery driver reported their vehicle stolen from the business. After a month long investigation which involved the recovery of the vehicle, Locust Police were able to charge a 17 year old male from Midland and a 17 year old male from Charlotte with the offense. Although charged as adults, we have reserved the right to not print the 17 year old male’s names.
- On April 28th a Midland citizen reported that their bank card information had been used to make fraudulent purchases multiple times after leaving their card at a Locust business. After investigation, a 17 year old male from Locust who was an employee at the business was charged with three felony charges related to the offense. Although charged as an adult, we have reserved the right to not print the 17 year old male’s name. We have also reserved the right not to print the Locust business name as it was an employee responsible and no one who owns or manages the business.
- On May 2nd, Locust officers observed two individuals acting suspicious in the area of Keys Gun Shop and the Alco service station. Upon running the registration plate of the vehicle the two were occupying, the vehicle came back as stolen out of Charlotte. Mr. Marlon Jermaine Porter Jr. of Concord and Mr. Allahcee Divine Jarrett of Chapel Hill were confronted and arrested without incident. During investigation of the vehicle, multiple items were found that had been reported in multiple breaking and enterings of vehicles in Charlotte. A handgun with a removed serial number was also found. Porter and Jarrett are charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.
- On May 4th, Locust officers responded to a minor traffic crash on East Main Street in front of Locust School. After investigation of one of the involved drivers, Mr. Ronald Lee Barbee of Locust was arrested and charged with driving while impaired as well as felony charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver as well as trafficking in Schedule II controlled substances.
- On May 12th, a vehicle displaying a fictitious and revoked registration plate was stopped on Meadowcreek Church Road. After investigation the driver of the vehicle, Mr. David Ryan Okeefe was arrested and charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance. Two handguns were also located and Okeefe was charged with carrying concealed weapons.
2016 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
2016 “Shop With A Cop” Results In Another Successful Community Event
2016 Participating Children And Officers
The Locust Police Department (specifically event organizers Officers Brittany Tucker and Kevin O’Connor) with assistance from the Oakboro and Stanfield Police Departments held the 2016 Shop With A Cop community outreach event on Saturday December 10th, 2016. 21 children were chosen to participate and were fed a delicious (and free!) breakfast from Wayside Restaurant then paired with an officer to enjoy a morning of Christmas shopping at the Locust Wal-Mart. Each child was given $320 donated from many sponsors to spend with half being used for clothing and the other half for whatever they wished to purchase. The smiles were as big on the officer’s faces as they were on the children. This event has become an annual highlight for the officers that give their time to give back to their community and show what the service of law enforcement is all about. Here’s a word from co-event coordinators and Locust Officers Kevin O’Connor and Brittany Tucker:
“Words can’t describe how grateful we are to be able to organize this event. We cannot begin to thank all of our wonderful donors who make this possible. Donations came in from many businesses and citizens in Locust, Oakboro and Stanfield. Special thanks to Stanfield PD Chief Corie Faggart and Oakboro PD Captain Craig Richards for all of your hard work. Thank you to all the officers and deputies who took time out of their day to make this happen. We had representatives from Locust PD, Oakboro PD, Stanfield PD, Misenheimer PD, Badin PD, Mint Hill PD. Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, and Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. Thanks most of all to these amazing kids for letting us spend the morning with them! See ya next year!”
Officer O’Connor and Officer Tucker
Locust Police Department
Smiles And Thumbs Up As Everyone Gets Ready To Shop
Locust Officer Chad Whitley Helps With Shoe Selection
Stanfield Officer Chris McDaniel Pulled Double Duty This Year
Locust Officer Dustin Wells Checks Out A Selected Item
Locust Officers Who Participated With The Children They Were Paired With. Officers Kevin O’Connor And Brittany Tucker Who Co-Coordinated The Event Are Pictured 3rd And 4th From The Left Respectively
Children Were Treated To The “Honor Processional” Treatment Both To And From Wal-Mart
For more photos from the 2016 “Shop With A Cop” event or to keep up with its progress toward next year, visit the event’s Facebook page:
2016 SHOP WITH A COP COMMUNITY OUTREACH EVENT INFORMATION
Participating Officers And Children At 2015 Event
The Locust Police Department (specifically Officers Brittany Tucker and Kevin O’Connor) with assistance from the Oakboro and Stanfield Police Departments will be holding the 2016 Shop With A Cop community outreach event on Saturday December 10th, 2016. For more information on how you can apply for your child to be part of the event or for how you can donate, please visit the event’s Facebook page at:
DRUG ARRESTS AFTER LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT/STANLY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE JOINT OPERATION
The Locust Police Department recently partnered with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office and Stanly County Drug Task Force in the arrest of two Locust residents on multiple drug distribution and possession charges after lengthy investigations of both subjects. Details as follows:
FOUR ARRESTED IN LOCUST HOME INVASION
In the early morning hours of July 14th, the Locust Police Department responded to the report of a burglary and armed robbery “home invasion” at a residence located on Family Lane off of North Central Avenue. The resident of the address and a visitor were held at gunpoint after entry was made through the front door by two male suspects. The victim suffered a minor injury after being struck in the face by one of the suspects and reported prescription medication, currency, a firearm, and other items of value being stolen.
After initial investigation involving search warrants for phone records, the visitor at the residence at the time of the robbery was determined to be involved. On July 25th, Ms. Donna Christine Hammill of Concord was arrested on charges related to the burglary and robbery as well as felony conspiracy charges.
LOCUST OFFICERS WIN AWARDS AT ANNUAL EVENT
After a one-year hiatus, the Officer Jeff Shelton Foundation returned to Il Bella Gardens on May 17th to hold an awards dinner and silent auction. The event which started in 2013 is held by the foundation as part of National Police Week, and honors Stanly County officers while raising money for their annual scholarship they award to criminal justice students.
As with every other year it has been held, the Locust Police Department was well-represented with finalist nominees for each award; Stanly County Officer Of The Year, the officer nominated “Got Your Six” award, and the community nominated “Every Day Hero” award. This year the foundation also added the Outstanding Career Service Award that resulted in who we believe is the most talented and well-respected law enforcement officer in Stanly County being honored.
Locust Officers Kevin O’Connor and Brittany Tucker along with Badin Sergeant Steven Butler were awarded the Every Day Hero award for their outstanding community work with their annual “Shop With A Cop” Christmas program.
Locust Officer Dwayne Dietz was a finalist for the Got Your Six award for his role in stopping the drunk driver of a stolen vehicle that was being pursued by police and was speeding recklessly toward busy Locust streets when Officer Dietz was able to stop the suspect’s vehicle with a “Stop Sticks” device. Albemarle Officer Lance Fallen was the recipient of the award.
A huge honor was given to Locust Officer Trent Middlebrook who was named as Stanly County Officer of the Year. Middlebrook, who has just over two years of service led the Locust Police Department last year in citations issued, DWI and drug arrests and seizures, as well as working multiple investigations involving prescription fraud that resulted in big arrests being made. Officer Middlebrook is a rare example in our field of someone whose abilities and knowledge far out-distance the amount of time he has served.
The biggest honor of the evening was bestowed upon thirty-year veteran and a former Assistant Chief of the Locust Police Department. Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Thomas was awarded the foundation’s first ever Outstanding Career Service Award for an exemplary and distinguished career that began in the late 1970’s. We can very assuredly say that Captain Thomas is the most well-respected law enforcement figure in all of Stanly County, and there is without a doubt a no more deserving officer in Stanly County for this award than Captain Thomas. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.
From Left To Right: Badin Sgt. Steven Butler,
Locust Officers Kevin O’Connor, Brittany Tucker, Trent Middlebrook,
Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Thomas
MARCH/APRIL CRIME BRIEFS
- In March and April, the Locust Police Department charged Mr. Reid Huneycutt, Ms. Hannah Dial, Mr. Felix Lopez, Ms. Alesia Butler, and Mr. William Fuchs Jr. with driving while impaired.
- In checking station (“checkpoint”) activity, Mr. Patrick Southerland was charged with felony possession of a Schedule II drug, and Mr. Cornelius Crowder was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as well as possession of a firearm with an altered or removed serial number.
- In the evening hours of March 5th, a vehicle operated by Mr. Travis Allen Wheeler was clocked by Locust police at 63 mph in a 45 mph zone on Coley Store Road. Wheeler attempted to elude pursuing Locust officers by accelerating to a high rate of speed and cutting off the lights on the vehicle. Wheeler was apprehended at the intersection of Austin Road and Running Creek Road. Wheeler was arrested and charged with felony flee to elude arrest, speeding, no operator’s license, and simple possession of marijuana.
- In the evening hours of April 14th, Locust police responded to the report of suspicious activity involving multiple individuals at the Locust Wal-Mart. Management reported multiple individuals attempting to acquire gift cards with $500 placed on them in addition to purchasing items with gift cards and attempting to return the items for cash refunds upon purchase. After investigation it was discovered that 8 total individuals in two separate vehicles had been at the business with one group of three attempting to convince multiple employees to put $500 increments on gift cards at the business after they would swipe “dummy cards” claiming they were cash cards. These individuals were successful in securing nearly $10,000 in gift cards that they did not purchase. A second group entered the business a short time later with two individuals purchasing electronic items with acquired gift cards and then attempting to return the items for a cash refund. Locust police arrived and were able to apprehend Mr. Marquarious Taylor and Mr. Nigere Fant, both of Flint, Michigan. They were charged with obtaining property by false pretense, and attempt to obtain property by false pretense. Taylor was also charged with resist, obstruct, and delay. After interview, a subject from the group that acquired the $10,000 in gift cards was identified as Ms. Honesty Unique Warren of Savannah, Georgia. Warrants were issued for her arrest. Locust police are also pursuing a felony conspiracy charge for all three subjects.
MEADOWS SUB-DIVISION JUVENILE VANDAL CAUGHT
On the morning of February 21st, Locust officers responded to The Meadows sub-division and the reports of damage to 11 vehicles at different residences that had occurred overnight. Emblems of vehicles were pried off and multiple vehicles had damage involving words scratched into the paint.
In the evening hours of February 25th, Locust officers responded to a fire at a residence under construction at 236 Lagoda Drive. Investigation followed and a juvenile that was currently residing with a relative in the sub-division was identified as a possible suspect.
Stanly County fire investigators and Locust officers spoke with the juvenile about the incidents. The juvenile admitted to starting the fire that severely damaged a door at the construction site. The juvenile also admitted to the multiple incidents of damaged vehicles. The juvenile was transferred to the custody of their parents who live in the Mt. Pleasant area. A juvenile petition was sought through Stanly County juvenile justice officials with further action being turned over to the Stanly County juvenile court system.
FEBRUARY CRIME BRIEFS
- February 21st, Lloyd Anthony Bastfield Jr. of Charlotte took packages of boxer briefs from the Locust Wal-Mart without paying for the items then presented them to customer service as a returned item. Following receiving a fraudulent gift card valued at $36.17, Bastfield Jr. removed a television valued at $428 that was located in a promotional display near the entrance of the business before fleeing the scene in a Toyota passenger car. Bastfield Jr. was apprehended after a vehicle pursuit in Cabarrus County by Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Deputies. Bastfield Jr. was charged in Stanly County with felony obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor larceny. Additional charges were also obtained by the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, and all property was recovered. Ms. Julia Potts was also cited by the Locust Police Department for the larceny after she was identified with Bastfield Jr. while he committed the theft.
- February 23rd, Kyong Tae Park of Charlotte arrested on the charges of DWI, felony flee to elude, and speeding. Park was clocked at 76 in a 45 mph zone on West Main Street near Ray Kennedy Drive and did not stop for Locust officers until west of the Rocky River Bridge in Midland. Park blew a .14 level of alcohol concentration on Intox.
- February 24th, Jesse Alexander Baldwin of Stanfield was observed traveling an approximated 45 mph in a 15 mph zone on Ray Kennedy Drive during wet road conditions. Upon stop, he was determined to be impaired. Baldwin blew a .15 level of alcohol concentration on Intox.
- February 27th, JB James Jones of Charlotte was found to remove a laptop computer from a display case at the Locust Wal-Mart by damaging a metal bracket holding the computer in place. Jones was arrested later in the evening by Stanly County Sheriff’s Deputies and Norwood Police Officers in the Norwood area. He was charged with felony larceny by defeating an anti-theft device.
SPEED LIMIT CHANGE NOTICE
** From the NC DOT **
Speed Limit Changes Coming to N.C. 24/27 in Locust
CHARLOTTE – The N.C. Department of Transportation is increasing the speed limit from 35 mph to 45 mph on a 2.2-mile stretch of N.C. 24/27 in Locust.
The department will implement the change on Thursday, Feb. 4, from Kings Drive on westbound N.C. 24/27 to Jenkins Street on eastbound N.C. 24/27. NCDOT studied this stretch of road and determined that the safe and reasonable speed limit, as well as the existing operating speed of motorists, is 45 mph. The speed limit on N.C. 24/27 just beyond these limits is already 45 mph.
On Thursday, NCDOT crews will be working to update existing speed limit signs to reflect the new posted speed. The new speed limit takes effect as soon as the updated signs are installed. Motorists should obey the speed limit at all time and are encouraged to reduce their speed based on conditions.
We as a department understand that very few drivers drive exactly the speed limit, and contrary to some erroneous criticism, we do not write speeding citations for traveling 5 miles over the speed limit inside Locust.
That being said however, the amount of speed discretion the department has utilized when the speed limit was 35 will be lowered now that the speed limit will be 45 across Main Street. The reason for that is that the higher the traveling speed, the higher the possibility of traffic crashes occurring and a higher risk for more serious injuries in those crashes.
Although even one mile over the speed limit is technically a violation of the speed limit law, a few miles over the newly established speed limit most likely will not result in a traffic stop. Please use common sense however when deciding what speed you will travel in the newly established speed zones.
13 ARRESTED IN STANLY COUNTY MULTI-AGENCY DRUG OPERATION
** From the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page **
On February 3, 2016 multiple law enforcement jurisdictions conducted an operation to arrest suspected drug dealers in Stanly County after months of investigation. This criminal investigation is a result of complaints from citizens for offenders who were distributing controlled substances within Stanly County. The investigative efforts resulted in the identification of multiple offenders and their locations. In the course of the operation, 2 search warrants were executed and a total of 13 offenders were arrested. The 13 arrests produced 127 different charges ranging from:
• Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver Controlled
• Trafficking Controlled Substances
• Conspiracy to Sell and Deliver Controlled Substances
• Felony Possession of Controlled Substances
• Sell and Deliver Controlled Substances
• Maintaining a Dwelling for Controlled Substances
More charges are pending at this time and also the District Attorney’s Office will be discussing Habitual Offender indictments on certain individuals. Bonds set for all offenders arrested total approximately $475,000. Each person arrested is scheduled for their District Court appearance in Stanly County on February 4, 2016 at 9:30AM.
Agencies that participated;
1- North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement
2- Stanly County Sheriff’s Office
3- Albemarle Police Department
4- Stanfield Police Department
5- Oakboro Police Department
6- Locust Police Department
7- Norwood Police Department
8- Misenheimer Police Department
9- Badin Police Department
10- U.S. Homeland Security Investigations
11- Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
12- North Carolina Probation and Parole
13- North Carolina Department of Corrections
14- Stanly County District Attorney’s Office
Stanly County Sheriff George T. Burris and Albemarle Police Chief Danny Bowen expressed their gratitude for all the agencies that came to assist during this operation. They both agreed, “it was a great success.”
LOCUST VEHICLE PURSUIT RESULTS IN ARREST
At approximately 11 pm on February 1st, Locust officers received a report of a possible impaired driver traveling east on West Main Street in a silver Chevrolet pick-up truck. Locust Officer Dwayne Dietz observed a vehicle fitting that description make a wide turn onto South Central Avenue from West Main traveling toward Stanfield. Officer Dietz observed the vehicle accelerate and he obtained a Radar clock of the vehicle at 78 mph in a 35 mph zone. When Officer Dietz attempted to stop the vehicle, it continued to accelerate while passing vehicles at speeds around 95 mph. Officer Dietz also observed the vehicle to be traveling erratically weaving and at times traveling in the oncoming lane of traffic. Deputy Harwood of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office was then able to join in the pursuit near Coyle Road.
After a pursuit of nearly 4 1/2 miles, the suspect vehicle ran off the road to the right just north of Oak Grove Road in Stanfield. When the vehicle attempted to over-correct, it went into the ditch along the road striking fencing before jumping out of the ditch and snapping a telephone pole in half. The driver, Mr. Marcus Andrade of Marshville attempted to flee the vehicle but he got caught in barbwire fencing in the pasture area in addition to unspecified injuries suffered during the crash influencing him to lay on the ground. Mr. Andrade was taken into custody without incident or further injury despite attempting to resist being handcuffed. Andrade was transported to Stanly Regional Hospital before later being transported to the Carolinas Medical Center. His injuries were unspecified but not considered to be life-threatening. No injuries were suffered by the involved officers and no damage caused to involved patrol vehicles.
Warrants were obtained by Officer Dietz for Mr. Andrade on the charges of felony flee to elude arrest, speeding, driving left of center, reckless driving, and resist, obstruct, and delay of an officer. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol also pursued driving while impaired charges for Mr. Andrade.
Following his release from the hospital, Mr. Andrade turned himself into the Stanly County Jail on February 3rd. He posted a $5000 bond and was released pending trial.
2015 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT HOSTS “SHOP WITH A COP” EVENT
Locust Officers Kevin O’Connor and Brittany Tucker recently organized an event known as “Shop With A Cop” for eligible western Stanly County children. The event, which included cooperation from the Stanfield and Oakboro Police Department was designed to raise money and allow area children in need to have the Christmas experience of a lifetime, all while shopping with their very own Police Officer escort and “assistant”.
The event which took place on Saturday December 12th, ended up being a huge success. More than $10,000 was raised from donations by individual donors and area businesses allowing 27 children to have a wonderful experience, and 27 officers got to show what the service of law enforcement is truly about. Click the link below for the Stanly News & Press article about the event:
LOCUST POLICE MAKE ARRESTS IN ROBBERY AND ASSAULT
At approximately midnight on December 2nd, Locust officers responded to the Hickory Ridge sub-division and the report of an assault and robbery. The victim was found with multiple abrasions and a cut to their thumb after they believed they were meeting with two acquaintances, and was then assaulted by four suspects. The victim reported having their wallet containing $150 and other financial cards stolen along with a “vape” smoking device and a knife.
After investigation, arrests were made on December 4th and December 5th on the charges of felony common law robbery and felony conspiracy. The suspects arrested included:
- William Eugene Brigman, 19, Locust
- William Chase Hanline, 20, Stanfield
- Marvin Alexzander Watkins, 18, Oakboro
After further investigation, the fourth suspect was also identified. A warrant for their arrest is currently active.
LOCUST POLICE MAKE HOMICIDE ARREST AFTER BODY FOUND ON ANNEXED PROPERTY
In the evening hours of July 24th, the Locust Police Department responded to the report of a deceased body on fire at the abandoned property located at 8300 NC Hwy 200 North, an annexed property of the City of Locust. Locust investigators, aided by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office identified the deceased victim as Mrs. Donna Marie Perez (aka Donna Marie Helms) of Concord.
Late night on the same evening and early into the following morning, Mr. Randy Lee Edwards of Concord emerged as a person of interest in the case after Concord Police responded to a suicide attempt by Edwards. After thorough investigation over the next several days, probable cause was developed to obtain a warrant for Edwards’ arrest on the charge of murder. Edwards was arrested on August 1st.
Edwards is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial on the charge. The Locust Police Department thanks the NC SBI, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, and Concord Police Department for all of the assistance and cooperation provided during the investigation.
LOCUST POLICE ARREST DRIVER FOR POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE
A March 21st lunch-time traffic stop thought to be for a routine traffic violation resulted in the arrest of the driver on the charge of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine among other charges. A vehicle driven by Mr. Charles Eric Snuggs of Oakboro was stopped in the area of the Locust Screen & Frame shop after Locust officers observed the vehicle’s registration plate to be expired.
Investigation during the stop resulted in a search of the vehicle and the discovery of methamphetamine. Mr. Snuggs was placed under arrest and the vehicle was impounded on suspicion that it was being used as a mobile methamphetamine “lab”. A passenger in the vehicle, Mr. Marc Greene Jr. of Albemarle was also arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant and simple possession of a Schedule II drug.
Mr. Snuggs and Mr. Greene were both transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Snuggs was formerly charged with two counts of felony possession of Schedule II, felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine, felony maintaining a vehicle for keeping and selling a controlled substance, felony possession of methamphetamine precursors, felony possession of methamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was issued a $25,000 secured bond. Mr. Snuggs was also issued a citation for an expired registration plate and expired vehicle inspection.
Mr. Greene was served with the active warrants and formerly charged with Schedule II possession. He was issued a $2500 bond.
VEHICLE BREAK-INS CRIME PREVENTION REMINDER FROM THE LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT
April 13th, 2015
Unlocked vehicle break-ins are still a sporadic problem in Stanly County, with an increase being noticed the last few months. There is no concrete evidence that these break-ins are all being perpetrated by the same individual(s) however, the method has stayed consistent. These thieves are checking for unlocked doors on vehicles and upon finding one, they search through the cars looking for easily removed electronics such as GPS devices, firearms, and money including small amounts of loose change. The perpetrators are even stealing the vehicle if they find a key inside the vehicle anywhere. These individuals are not just checking a few vehicles, they are instead canvassing entire areas looking for unlocked vehicles to steal from.
There are two key elements that have been present with all of these break-ins and larcenies: 1) Valuable property has been left in the victimized vehicles and 2) The doors to these vehicles have been left unlocked. Both of these present factors are easily fixable by you, the vehicle and property owner. These offenses are referred to as “crimes of opportunity”. If you remove the opportunity, most likely the crime will not occur.
The Locust Police Department is again reminding all citizens of the following preventative measures:
– Keep all items of value OUT of your vehicle(s), especially in the late night and early morning hours.
– KEEP YOUR VEHICLE(S) LOCKED AND YOUR WINDOWS UP WHEN YOU WILL BE AWAY FROM YOUR VEHICLE(S), EVEN IF YOU WILL ONLY BE AWAY FOR A FEW MINUTES. It is still a good idea to keep your vehicle(s) secure even if you have removed all valuables.
– Record serial numbers for any items of value that have a serial number and keep this information in a safe place you will remember. Stolen items can be identified through serial numbers.
– NEVER EVER keep a key for the vehicle anywhere near the vehicle. Keep any extra keys in secure locations away from the vehicle. Do not assume you have the “perfect” spot for your back-up key.
– If you notice through press sources that one or more individuals has been arrested for vehicle break-ins in Stanly County, do not assume that the problem has been solved. Breaking in unlocked vehicles has become a major problem nationwide and obviously the same individuals are not responsible for break-ins everywhere.
– If your vehicle is equipped with a car alarm and you hear it go off in the late night or early morning hours, call 911 as soon as possible.
– If you observe ANY suspicious activity around your residence or neighborhood (suspicious vehicles, persons, or activity), especially in the late night and early morning hours, you may call 911 for emergencies and (704)986-3700 for non-emergencies in Stanly County, (704)920-3000 for non-emergencies in Cabarrus County sections of Locust. It is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.
-If you go to your vehicle (particularly in the morning) and you happen to observe that it appears your vehicle has been rifled through (property strewn in vehicle, center console or glove compartment open etc.), please resist the urge to open the vehicle doors or closely inspect the interior. Step away and call 911. It is always possible that thieves have left behind evidence that can be useful in investigation.
The Locust Police Department patrols all neighborhoods and areas in Locust however, be aware that if these individuals are on foot while in neighborhoods, it is easy to hide in the shadows if they notice a vehicle driving down the road. The Locust Police Department is asking all citizens to help us prevent break-ins and thefts in our city. Simple tasks such as locking a door or taking an item inside with you at night can make all the difference in preventing the loss of valuable items, and will help to discourage thieves from committing larcenies in Locust. For more crime prevention and safety tips please contact the Locust Police Department or you may request materials by contacting Officer Shew by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRIME BRIEFS JANUARY 2015
- Around midday on January 2nd, Ms. Kristine Bradley of Charlotte was confronted at Wal-Mart by Locust officers after it was alleged she had removed a $70.00 bed comforter from the business and returned it the same day for a fraudulent refund. Ms. Bradley was arrested and transported to Stanly County Jail where she was issued a $2500 secured bond.
- In the mid-afternoon hours of January 2nd, a vehicle driven by Mr. Caleb York of Oakboro was clocked traveling westbound on West Main Street at 61 in a 45 mph zone. When Locust officers attempted to stop Mr. York’s vehicle he accelerated to a speed in excess of 120 mph as well as ran a red signal light. In the area of Loving Road in Midland, Mr. York’s vehicle malfunctioned and he was apprehended. Mr. York was charged with speeding 120 in a 55 mph zone, felony flee to elude arrest, careless and reckless driving, and failing to stop for a red light.
- In the late afternoon hours of January 2nd Thomas Broschart Jr. and Ms. Ashley Jo Holmes both of Albemarle, were stopped by Locust officers at Wal-Mart after they concealed over $100 worth of merchandise and left the business without paying for the items. Both individuals were cited for misdemeanor larceny and Ms. Holmes was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
- During an afternoon vehicle/driver’s violation checkpoint on January 13th, a vehicle driven by Ms. Katherine Crittenden of Mount Pleasant was investigated. Ms. Crittenden was found to be in possession of marijuana and liquor under the age of 21. She was cited for both offenses.
- In the late evening hours of January 17th, a vehicle operated by Mr. Jon Rumph of Charlotte was stopped on Highway 24/27 west near the Locust city limits after it was approximated that he was traveling at 100 mph. Investigation of Mr. Rumph indicated that he was driving while impaired and he was placed under arrest. Mr. Rumph was transported to Cabarrus County Jail where he declined to provide a breath sample.
- In the evening hours of January 18th, Locust Police responded to Wal-Mart about a report of an individual harassing other customers in the parking lot. Investigation revealed that Mr. Kevin Tracy of Midland was in possession of $120 worth of stolen merchandise from the business. It was also determined that Mr. Tracy was driving with a suspended driver’s license. He was cited for both offenses.
- In the late afternoon hours of January 19th, a vehicle was discovered by Locust officers in the parking lot displaying a fictitious registration plate and not having insurance. Shortly after leaving the business, the vehicle was stopped by Locust officers on Commercial Blvd. Ms. Leeann Parker of Albemarle was discovered to be driving with a suspended license and also had an active felony warrant for her arrest out of Anson County. Ms. Parker was transported to Stanly County Jail on the active warrant and issued citations for the other offenses. Further investigation revealed that while Ms. Parker was in Wal-Mart, she returned a stolen item from the business to the customer service desk for a fraudulent refund. A warrant for Ms. Parker on the charge of felony obtaining property by false pretense was issued for the offense.
- On January 28th, a warrant was issued for Mr. John Chad Kluttz of Locust on the charge of domestic assault on a female. Mr. Kluttz turned himself in to Locust officers the following day and transported to Stanly County Jail.
Locust Police Vehicle Pursuit Results In Capture Of Suspect, Wrecked Patrol Car
January 26th – A Locust Police morning vehicle pursuit through multiple communities resulted in the capture of the suspect and a wrecked patrol car, but no major injuries. Locust patrol officer Brandon Stancil clocked a motorcycle at 67 in a 45 mph zone on West Main Street near Stanly Community College. When Officer Stancil attempted to stop the motorcycle for the offense, the driver would not stop and a pursuit ensued.
The driver, Robert Frank Carrick III of Polkton attempted to elude Locust officers through multiple areas of Locust, Stanfield, and Oakboro multiple times traveling left of center and in the opposite lane of travel as well as reaching speeds up to 90 mph. In the area of Rock Hole Road near Highway 200, Officer Stancil lost traction on the roadway resulting in his patrol car hitting an embankment and flipping onto its top. Stancil suffered minor injuries and was helped from his wrecked vehicle by other officers while Locust officers continued the pursuit.
On Philadelphia Church Road, Carrick lost control of his motorcycle and ran into a ditch. Locust officers were able to apprehend Carrick as he attempted to get the motorcycle back onto the roadway. Carrick was transported to Stanly County Jail and charged with multiple offenses including felony flee to elude, speeding 90 in a 55 mph zone, driving while license revoked, and possession of marijuana. Carrick was issued a $5,000 secured bond.
The Stanfield Police Department, Oakboro Police Department, and NC Highway Patrol assisted Locust in the pursuit. No damage to civilian property or injuries to civilians was reported. Officer Stancil’s patrol car was a total loss and another Locust patrol car suffered minor damage.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT HONORS STAN “THE MAN”
By: Officer Jeff Shew, Locust Police Department
Recent events that have occurred in the country have put the field of law enforcement in the spotlight with many expressing a very negative message about our role in society. In Locust, we have been blessed to serve a community that shows us great support for the most part however we, like all other officers nationwide, feel the sting of the criticism by the many that seems to overpower the vocal support of what sometimes seems like the few. We are very grateful to all those we serve in this great city that have shown their support to our department, but we especially wanted to honor one Locust resident whose constant support meant just a little bit more than usual this past year.
Locust resident Stan Preast most folks in the city know better by his nickname, Stan “The Man”. I think most would agree Stan is one of the citizen ambassadors for Locust, and one of the reasons they call Locust “a city with a soul”. I don’t think I’ve been in a restaurant in the city yet that the first dollar spent wasn’t by Stan “The Man”, and any City Council meeting I’ve ever attended Stan was right there, not to complain or cause trouble, but just so he knew what was going on in the city he calls home.
Stan “The Man” has also been a dedicated supporter of the Locust Police Department for the six years I’ve been here, but I’m sure that support started long before my tenure. From his enthusiastic waves every time one of us pass him in our patrol cars on the road (of course we know it’s Stan “The Man”, because he’s the only guy we know that’s cool enough to drive around in a white mini-van with a Playboy bunny license plate on the front), to presenting a plaque of appreciation from the citizens of Locust to Captain Charles Connell at his retirement ceremony, there’s been no doubt that Stan “The Man” is in our corner.
Every Christmas, Stan plays his own version of Santa Claus with the help of others, and leaves Christmas goodie bags in every officer’s box at the office. He doesn’t do it to gain any type of favor, and he doesn’t do it for the credit either as similar to Santa, he always manages to leave them when we’re not around. His reason for doing it is simply to say, “We appreciate what you do”. A lot of things have happened in recent months to make law enforcement seem so negative, the honorable purpose of our job lost in an atmosphere of allegations, criticism, and ill will. So, this year when we walked in to find those bags from Stan “The Man” and others, they meant just a little bit more to us than usual. It reminded us of the fine people that we are serving and protecting, how wonderful the citizens of Locust are, and it reminded us why exactly that we do what we do.
We want all the citizens of Locust who support us to know how much we appreciate you, and this year we especially wanted to make sure Stan knew how much his support year after year means to us. Recently, all the officers at the Locust Police Department signed a thank you card, and this time Stan was presented his own plaque of appreciation from our department to him. If you see Stan, make sure to shake his hand and give him a pat on the back, or if you see the white mini-van with the Playboy bunny license plate give him a hearty wave. He’s one of the good guys, and deserves the appreciation. Thanks for all the years of support Stan; you truly are “The Man”.
2014 AND OLDER NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
West Stanly Christian Ministries “Day Of Giving” Event Held
Also on Saturday the 13th, West Stanly Christian Ministries held their annual “Day of Giving” event. This event also helps area families in need at Christmas time by providing presents and other supplies for those less fortunate. Locust Officer T.J. Smith was there to assist with the event.
Smith, the coordinator of the Annual Stanly County Public Service/Teacher’s Charity Softball Tournament designated this year’s tournament to benefit the “Day of Giving” campaign, and the tournament had brought in over $2300 to assist with the event. T.J. stated that he was “extraordinarily privileged and extremely humbled by the small part I was able to play”, and “I saw today a group of volunteers with the warmest hearts, giving of themselves just to help others on a day all about giving, in a season that is all about love and giving. There are still so many good people in the world that are willing to go above and beyond to help others.” Stanly County Sheriff George Burris was also on hand to lend his support and a helping hand. Sheriff Burris stated, “It was great to be there and see all the smiling faces. All the volunteers did a great job and helped make a positive difference in the community.”
This year’s “Day of Giving” event was a tremendous success with 125 families and over 300 children given a message of love and a Merry Christmas. Outstanding job T.J.!
To learn more about the “Day of Giving” and West Stanly Christian Ministries, visit their Facebook page.
Locust Officers Participate in Christmas “Shop With A Cop” Event
On Saturday December 13th, multiple Stanly County agencies including law enforcement, fire, and EMS came together in the spirit of the season and service to participate in this year’s “Shop with a Cop” charity event. The event, started by former Concord and current Badin officer Steven Butler brings together area public service agencies to help underprivileged children in the Stanly County area give a Merry Christmas to their families, happiness and a little hope, as well as showing the children what true public service is about.
After breakfast served at the Badin Fire Department, each child selected for the event received $300 to purchase Christmas presents at the Albemarle Wal-Mart. They were then paired up with a Stanly County first responder who assisted them in picking out Christmas presents for their families.
This year’s program assisted 21 area children and participating were Locust officers Kevin O’Connor, Chad Whitley, Brittany Tucker, and Sergeant Rick Crayton. All Locust officers stated they were honored to take part in the event that Officer O’Connor called a “career highlight”. Officer O’Connor also stated that they were so inspired by the event that they hope to bring a Locust Police Department sponsored event to the Locust area next year. Awesome job guys and gal!
Saturday September 13th, 2014, Oakboro District Park, starts at 8 am.
- Nine teams comprised of Stanly County Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS) and Stanly County teachers battling it out for county bragging rights and the Stanly County traveling trophy in a double elimination tournament battle to the finish.
- Home run derby prior to the championship game to crown Stanly County’s long ball king.
- Grilled food will be served, a bounce house will be on-site for the kiddos, and raffles for cash and prizes. Fun, food, and great softball action for everyone!!
- ALL monetary donations will go to West Stanly Christian Ministries’ “Day of Giving” holiday campaign for our areas needy. You can make donations ANYTIME at the Locust Police Department or West Stanly Christian Ministries (please specify the softball tournament when you make a donation)
Canned food/supply drive for West Stanly Christian Ministries’ food pantry for the needy. “We’re going to fill the truck” with supplies. You can donate canned food/supplies ANYTIME at the Locust Police Department or West Stanly Christian Ministries. Help us “fill the truck”!!
– On March 7th, Mr. Travis Tucker of Oakboro was identified at a Locust business. It was discovered that Mr. Tucker had an active order for his arrest on a failure to appear for court charge. Mr. Tucker was placed under arrest by Locust Police and transported to Stanly County Jail. He was issued a $500 secured bond.
– March 8th, Locust Police responded to the report of a larceny of beer at the Alco service station. Mr. Brandon Smith (unreported residence) was stopped for the offense and cited for misdemeanor larceny. His court date was set for April 1st.
– In the early morning hours of March 16th, Locust Police responded to the report of a possible impaired driver at the Alco service station. A vehicle driven by Mr. Michael Shane Ross Jr. of Midland was stopped after Locust Police observed erratic driving. Following road-side investigation, Mr. Ross Jr. was arrested for driving while impaired. After being transported to Stanly County Jail, Mr. Ross Jr. blew a .14 on Intoximeter. He was formally charged with driving while impaired, and careless/reckless driving. He was issued a $1500 secured bond and his court date set for April 22nd.
– Just prior to 1 am on March 25th, Locust Police responded to a traffic crash at the Locust CVS Pharmacy when a vehicle had swerved off of East Main Street and crashed into the building. Mr. Martin Benavides of Oakboro was identified as the driver of the vehicle that struck the building. Investigation discovered that Mr. Benavides appeared to be under the influence of an impairing substance at the time. Mr. Benavides was transported to Stanly Regional Medical Center where blood was drawn to determine the presence of any impairing substance. Mr. Benavides was charged with driving while impaired, careless/reckless driving, and resisting an officer. His court date was set for May 22nd.
– In the evening hours of March 27th, a vehicle operated by Ms. Hannah Tyson of Monroe was stopped by Locust Police for failing to maintain lane control and erratic/unsafe driving. Investigation during the stop revealed prescription medication not prescribed to Ms. Tyson. Ms. Tyson was arrested and transported to Stanly County Jail for illegal simple possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV drugs. She was also charged with careless/reckless driving as well as served with an outstanding arrest warrant out of Union County. Her total bond was set at $2000.
– March 28th, a vehicle operated by Ms. Danielle Lance of Matthews was stopped for traveling 72 in a 55 mph zone near Barbee Road. After detecting the smell of alcohol in the vehicle, further investigation was conducted. After roadside sobriety testing, Ms. Lance was arrested for driving while impaired and transported to Stanly County Jail. Ms. Lance blew a .10 on Intox and was formally charged with DWI and speeding 72 in a 55 mph zone. Ms. Lance was issued a $1000 bond and her court date was set for
– In the morning hours of March 30th, Locust Police utilizing newly acquired department radios able to monitor Cabarrus County law enforcement traffic heard a report of an altercation involved disturbance near County Line Road on Highway 200 North. Locust Police responded towards the area and identified the vehicle involved in the altercation near the Fast Shop location at Meadowcreek Church Road and North Central Avenue. Upon stopping the vehicle, Locust Police identified the driver; Mr. Kelly Manley of Greenville, South Carolina as having an active full-extradition fugitive warrant for his arrest. Mr. Manley was arrested without incident and transported to Stanly County Jail. He was issued a $25,000 bond and confined to await extradition to South Carolina.
March 21st – In a troubling and bizarre story that ended up in national news, the Locust Police Department assisted the Lincolnton Police Department in identifying a man accused of assaulting a female in a Lincolnton Wal-Mart after he inappropriately began sucking the female’s toes. Mr. Michael Anthony Brown of Concord was accused of convincing a female customer to try shoes on in the businesses shoe department by claiming he was a Podiatry student. When the female removed her shoes, Mr. Brown began sucking on her toes before leaving the business when she reacted negatively to the act.
The Locust Police were able to assist the Lincolnton Police after they posted a picture of the man on local news. Locust Police identified Mr. Brown due to the department having arrested him in 2012 at the Locust Wal-Mart for another foot related offense. In Locust, he had grabbed a woman’s foot and took a picture of it without her permission. Locust Police contacted Lincolnton and gave them Mr. Brown’s information, assisting them in locating and apprehending Mr. Brown that same evening.
Although very odd stories such as these may seem humorous to some, it should be noted that Mr. Brown was convicted of a much more extreme offense involving what is referred to as a “foot fetish” in 2001. That offense resulted in him having to register as a convicted sex offender. The Locust Police were happy to able to assist the Lincolnton Police Department in making an arrest in this case and bringing Mr. Brown to justice. Links to national articles about the incident are below:
– On February 6th, continued investigation into alleged activities of Ms. Pearl Gabbard of Albemarle resulted in the obtaining of two additional warrants for her arrest on the charges of felony conversion. In recent months, multiple reports were taken regarding activity related to her Bargain Emporium consignment business on South Central Avenue. Investigation of these reports resulted in her arrest in January and the additional warrants obtained from the February 6th report. Without giving specific details related to the cases, the charge of felony conversion in North Carolina can be related to selling the property of another without providing the owner the agreed upon amount upon the sale, or simply selling property that doesn’t belong to the offender without the authorization of the property’s owner. Ms. Gabbard was arrested on the outstanding warrants on February 20th, and issued a $2000 secured bond.
– On February 18th, Mr. Desmond Alford of Locust was arrested without incident on an outstanding warrant for injury to personal property.
– On February 24th, after investigation regarding fraudulent and unauthorized transactions at a Locust business, Mr. Cameron Aldridge of Locust was charged with financial card fraud.
LOCUST POLICE DEPARTMENT CRIME BRIEFS JANUARY 2014
Some of the recent cases and activities involving the Locust Police Department:
– On December 30th, Locust and Stanfield Police investigated the report of more than $16,000 in unauthorized bank card transactions from a Stanfield resident’s account; the majority of the transactions occurring at a Locust bank ATM. During the investigation, Ms. Tonya Ann Furr of Albemarle was determined to be the suspect in the fraudulent transactions. Warrants were obtained for Ms. Furr and she was placed under arrest on January 9th by the Albemarle Police Department.
– On January 2nd after multiple months of investigation, Ms. Pearl Gabbard of Locust was arrested on two arrest warrants for fraudulent conversion activity.
– On January 6th, a vehicle operated by Ms. Tara Poplin of Richfield was stopped for speeding 60 mph in a 45 mph zone on West Main Street near Jenkins Street. Investigation during the stop also revealed Ms. Poplin’s driver’s license revoked and an outstanding warrant for her arrest. Ms. Poplin was cited for speeding and driving while license revoked, and she was transported to Stanly County Jail on the active warrant.
– On January 26th, a vehicle operated by Mr. Hunter Scott was stopped on South Central Avenue due to Locust officers being aware of an active warrant for Mr. Scott’s arrest on a probation violation. Mr. Scott was placed under arrest without incident and transported to Stanly County Jail. He was issued a $5000 bond.
On November 18th, 2013 in the early morning hours, Locust Police received a report of a home invasion at a residence on Coley Store Road near the intersection of Bethel Church Road in the jurisdiction of the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. The Locust Police Department responded after a mutual aid request was made by Stanly County. Locust Police located a white in color Lincoln passenger car in the vicinity of the crime area and witnessed the vehicle make an unsafe movement on Bethel Church Road. The vehicle; driven by Mr. Hunter Scott of Albemarle and occupied by Ms. Heather Carpenter of Locust, was stopped on Austin Road. Investigation was turned over to the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office and later revealed that both Scott and Carpenter had knowledge and information involving the home invasion. Subsequent interview and investigation led Stanly County detectives to two individuals responsible for the home invasion. All four suspects were charged with offenses related to the crimes.
Shortly before 3 am on December 14th, a vehicle operated by Ms. Lauren Johnson of Waxhaw was stopped for traveling 51 in a 35 mph zone on West Main Street near Church Street. Upon stopping the vehicle, Locust Police suspected Ms. Johnson to be impaired. After administering standardized roadside field sobriety tests, Ms. Johnson was placed under arrest for driving while impaired. At Stanly County Jail, Ms. Johnson refused to provide an adequate breath sample to Intox. She was formally charged with driving while impaired and for speeding 51 in a 35 mph zone.
LOCUST POLICE ASSIST IN CABARRUS COUNTY VEHICLE PURSUIT/ARREST
On Tuesday January 21st at approximately 8:00 am, the Locust Police Department was requested to assist the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office in a vehicle pursuit of a stolen vehicle. The pursuit began on Branchview Road in Cabarrus County when a white SUV was discovered driving recklessly, and then discovered to be stolen out of the Mint Hill, NC area. The pursuit continued south on Highway 200 North toward Locust reaching speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour, and the Locust Police Department was requested to assist. In the area of County Line Road on Highway 200 North, the vehicle pulled to the side of the highway. Two vehicle occupants were apprehended immediately by Cabarrus County deputies while the driver of the vehicle fled the area on foot in the vicinity of Mineral Drive. A search of the area for the suspect began with cooperation between Cabarrus County deputies, Locust Police, Stanfield Police, and the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. After canvassing a large area near Mineral Drive for more than an hour, Locust Police located the suspect; Mr.Richard Long of Charlotte attempting to hide in an abandoned mobile home. Mr. Long was apprehended without incident, and custody transferred to the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office. Long was transported to the Cabarrus County Jail to be processed on multiple charges.
On October 10th, Locust Police responded to the report of a stolen wallet at Wal-Mart. Upon viewing security camera footage from the store, Mr. Bradley James McAlexander of Midland was identified as the suspect. The wallet was returned to the business however Mr. McAlexander refused to return to speak with Locust officers. An arrest warrant was obtained for Mr. McAlexander on the charge of misdemeanor larceny and he was arrested on October 13th. Mr. McAlexander’s next court date is January 7th.
October 21st, Locust Police took a report of a larceny at Wal-Mart related to a push-out of approximately $600 in merchandise. After investigating security camera footage, Mr. Steven Wayne Crowley of Rockingham was identified as the suspect. Warrants were obtained on the newly established count of felony habitual larceny for Mr. Crowley; who has been convicted of multiple larcenies in the past. Further investigation discovered that in mid-November, Mr. Crowley was apprehended and was at the time incarcerated in Richmond County. Locust warrants were transferred to Richmond County for service on Mr. Crowley.
On September 30th, Locust Police took the report of a felony larceny at Wal-Mart that had been discovered to take place on September 29th. Security camera footage showed a white male using a cutting tool to remove multiple electronic items with a total value near $900 from a locked case in the business. Investigation of the security footage identified the suspect to be Mr. Donald Travis Cochran of Albemarle. Warrants were obtained for Mr. Cochran and he was apprehended on October 25th. Again on November 15th, Locust Police were on-scene at Wal-Mart in an unmarked vehicle when Mr. Cochran arrived at the business, accompanied by Ms. Kristen Nicole Willis of Albemarle. Mr. Cochran was arrested for driving with a revoked license and also on additional warrants for his arrest that were active from both Cabarrus and Union counties. Ms. Willis was also arrested on an outstanding warrant from Cabarrus County.
Shortly after midnight on November 26th, Locust Police initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle for a revoked registration plate and no insurance on West Main Street near Meadowcreek Church Road. Investigation during the stop also revealed that the driver; Mr. Nathan McDonald of Ellerbe had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for communicating threats in Moore County. Mr. McDonald was transported to Stanly County Jail and served with the outstanding warrant as well as issued citations for displaying a revoked registration plate and not having vehicle insurance.
In the late evening hours of November 30th, Locust Police observed a Ford Explorer run a red stoplight at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue. Upon stopping the vehicle, Locust Police detected the odor of marijuana in the vehicle. Investigation revealed that the driver; Mr. John Dakota Jenkins of Locust was in possession of a small amount of marijuana, marijuana paraphernalia, as well as a concealed “stun gun” weapon. Mr. Jenkins was placed under arrest and transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Jenkins was formally charged with failing to stop for a red light, simple possession of Schedule VI, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying an illegal concealed weapon. His court date was set for January 7th, 2014.
On December 2nd, Locust Police responded to Food Lion to investigate an attempt to obtain property by false pretense. Investigation revealed that Mr. Kyle Dustin Creese of Albemarle walked into the business and selected food items from the shelves. He then placed the items in a bag and attempted to return the stolen items for a refund. Mr. Creese was placed under arrest for the attempt of obtaining property by false pretense and transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Creese was given a $1000 bond amount and permanently banned from the Locust Food Lion.
September 12th, Ms. Ketta Cooper of Albemarle was stopped while leaving Cabarrus Family Medicine off West Main Street after suspected impaired driving. Cooper blew a .09 alcohol concentration on Intox and was formally charged with driving while impaired.
September 14th, Mr. Timothy Cunningham was stopped for speeding on East Main Street near North Beverly Drive. Investigation through the NCAware warrant database revealed an active arrest warrant for Mr. Cunningham as well as a suspended driver’s license. Mr. Cunningham was arrested on the active warrant, as well as issued citations for speeding 57 in a 35 mph zone and driving while license revoked.
September 20th, Locust Police responded to a single vehicle accident on Browns Hill Road. The driver; Mr. Casey Darrell Crayton was arrested for driving while impaired after investigation. Mr. Crayton blew a .20 alcohol concentration on Intox, and formally charged with DWI as well as reckless driving.
September 20th, Locust Police responded to a verbal altercation at Taco Bell. One of the vehicles involved attempted to leave the scene and was stopped at Murphy’s Express. After investigation, the driver; Mr. Rickie Lindale Coble of Charlotte was arrested for driving while impaired. Mr. Coble blew a .22 alcohol concentration on Intox at Stanly County Jail and was formally charged with DWI and driving while license revoked.
October 6th, Locust Police responded to a larceny in progress at Wal-Mart. Ms. Melissa Currie and Mr. Antonio Cordani were stopped and found with nearly $200 worth of stolen merchandise. Ms. Currie; a previous Wal-Mart offender was issued a citation for second degree trespass and misdemeanor larceny. Mr. Cordani was issued a citation for misdemeanor larceny.
October 21st, Mr. David Kemp of Stanfield was identified by Locust officers on surveillance camera footage at Food Lion after walking out of the business with a case of beer without paying for it. He was apprehended and issued a citation for misdemeanor larceny.
STANLY COUNTY POLICE, FIRE, EMS, AND TEACHERS COME TOGETHER FOR CHARITY SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT TO BENEFIT WEST STANLY FIREFIGHTER WITH LEUKEMIA
Several months ago, Officer T.J. Smith of the Locust Police Department responded to the report of a young man that was found homeless and living inside Officer Jeff Shelton Park. Instead of dismissing the young man or simply running him off, he listened to his story and felt compelled to do whatever he could to help him. After consulting with Live Again Ministries of Locust, as well as Patsy Street and Robert Britt of West Stanly Christian Ministries in Stanfield, they were able to help the young man with a place to live and help finding employment. “Helping people is one of the reasons I entered law enforcement, and it was a great feeling to play a small part in helping someone in a rough spot get back on their feet. Live Again Ministries and West Stanly Christian Ministries are wonderful organizations helping those in need, and I started thinking about what the public safety community in Stanly County could do to help too. Then I had the idea of a charity softball tournament” Smith said.
Initially, Officer Smith along with several others who volunteered to help began planning a charity softball tournament for members of Stanly County law enforcement, fire, and EMS to raise money to help West Stanly Christian Ministries with their mission. At the same time, Steven Shaw, a Captain with the West Stanly Fire Department was going to the doctor after he began losing weight and not feeling well. Captain Shaw found out that he had been diagnosed with leukemia, sending a shockwave through the Stanly County public safety community. Smith said, “Literally the same week we started planning the tournament, Steven found out he had leukemia. I knew then we just had to have the tournament to help him out. Robert at West Stanly Christian Ministries gave me his blessing to run the tournament for Steven and offered any help that he could.” West Stanly Christian Ministries agreed to set up an account for Shaw so money raised could be used to help Shaw and his family with extensive medical costs in fighting the disease. Shaw’s wife Emily; a teacher at West Stanly Middle School, also organized teachers in the county to contribute as well.
On Saturday November 9th, the First Annual Stanly County Public Safety/Teacher’s Charity Softball Tournament to benefit Captain Steven Shaw will take place. The double elimination tournament will begin at 8:00 am at Officer Jeff Shelton Park in Locust and Oakboro District Park in Oakboro. All tournament games from 12:00 pm on will take place at Jeff Shelton Park, culminating in a home run derby at 5:00 pm and the tournament’s championship game starting at 6:00 pm. The first annual event features ten teams comprised of players from agencies across the county coming together for the common cause of helping Captain Shaw in his fight. Agencies participating include: Police officers from Locust, Stanfield, Oakboro, Albemarle, Norwood, and Misenheimer Police Departments, as well as deputies from the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office. Troopers from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol will also be participating as well as officers from North Carolina Wildlife. Firefighters from West Stanly, Oakboro, and several other agencies will be participating including Captain Shaw who is managing one of the West Stanly teams. Stanly County Paramedics and an entire team of Stanly County teachers including Shaw’s wife Emily are also included in the event. Besides raising money for a great cause, all the teams will be vying for Stanly County bragging rights and a tournament plaque that will be kept by the winning team for the entire year.
The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. “We’re really hoping the public we’ll help us make this event a HUGE success for Steven. We’ll have hamburgers and hot dogs available for everyone until we run out, some side events for the kids, and of course some good ole fashioned softball action!” said Smith. Donations for Captain Shaw will be collected during the event along with the donations already collected from entry fees and charitable contributions from businesses and individuals in Stanly County. Tournament co-coordinator Officer Jeff Shew of the Locust Police Department added, “We’re really hoping this is the start of an annual tradition of public safety and teachers in Stanly County coming together to raise money and help however we can. Just the interest that has been shown for the tournament this year and wanting to help Captain Shaw really shows how wonderful people in Stanly County are at coming together for a great cause.” “We hope to see everyone come out for some fun, fellowship, and to see who gets Stanly County bragging rights……all for a great cause November 9th!” Smith added.
The First Annual Stanly County Public Safety/Teacher’s Charity Softball Tournament begins at 8:00 am on Saturday, November 9th with one game being played at Jeff Shelton Park and two games at Oakboro District Park. Games continue all day until the tournament championship at 6:00 pm. For more tournament information, visit the tournament’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/694608170553592/?ref=br_tf. Or you can find out more by emailing Officer Jeff Shew email@example.com or contacting Officer TJ Smith at (704)239-7752.
Shortly before midnight on August 20th, Locust Police responded to an Oakland Street address and the report of the residence being broken into and four firearms stolen. Through early morning interviews and investigation, Mr. Ryan Gage Smith and Mr. Christopher Darryl Smith both of Locust were identified as suspects.
On the morning of August 21st, Locust investigators conducted additional investigation and were able to recover two of the stolen firearms. Warrants for both Ryan and Christopher Smith were obtained on one count of felony breaking and entering and four counts of felony larceny of a firearm.
On August 26th, Stanly County Sheriff Deputies located and arrested Christopher Smith and he was transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Smith was served with the warrants and given a $15,000 bond.
On August 28th, Stanly County Sheriff Deputies also located and arrested Ryan Smith. Mr. Smith was booked into Stanly County Jail. The bond amount was unspecified as of press time.
In the late afternoon of August 19th, Locust Police responded to the report of multiple larcenies and fraud at the Locust Wal-Mart. It was discovered that a group of individuals had been in the business earlier in the day multiple times concealing or walking out of the business with hundreds of dollars’ worth of assorted merchandise. It was also discovered that two of the individuals identified would then re-enter the business and fraudulently return the stolen items for gift cards. Through investigation, these two individuals were identified as Mr. Brian Matthew Torbett and Mr. Tom Lee Furr, both of Oakboro. Locust Police obtained arrest warrants for both individuals.
On August 20th, an individual identified as being involved in the August 19th theft activity again was observed in the business. Locust Police responded and apprehended Mr. Jesse Daniel Clay of Ansonville. Mr. Clay was issued two citations for misdemeanor larceny based on offenses from both August 19th and 20th.
On August 28th, both Mr. Torbett and Mr. Clay were arrested by the Oakboro Police Department after being discovered at the Oakboro Family Dollar. Both subjects were transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Furr was served on one count of misdemeanor larceny and one count of felony obtaining property by false pretense. Mr. Torbett was served on one count of felony obtaining property by false pretense. Investigation in the case is still on-going.
Approximately 3:15 am on June 11th, 2013 Locust Police responded to the report of a suspicious vehicle circling the parking lot of Wal-Mart. When officers arrived the vehicle, a Dodge Magnum passenger car, was spotted not making a complete stop at a red light on Red Bridge Boulevard and the vehicle was stopped near Reed Mine Road on Highway 24/27.
Shortly after the stop was made, the vehicle fled the scene and Locust officers pursued. After making a turn onto Highway 601, the driver of the suspect vehicle discovered to be Ms. Desiree Lee Gorman of Fountain Inn, South Carolina lost control of the vehicle causing it to strike a fire hydrant in front of Tractor Supply in Midland. Ms. Gorman and a passenger, Mr. Reginald Edward Gillespie of Greenville, South Carolina ran from the vehicle and after a brief foot chase, both suspects were apprehended.
Investigation following the crash and apprehension revealed over $5200 in stolen merchandise from Wal-Marts in Locust, Concord, and Kannapolis inside the suspect vehicle which was determined to be a rental car.
Initial charges for Ms. Gorman included felony flee to elude, improper passing, driving on the wrong side of the road, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resist, delay, and obstruct an officer. She was confined in Cabarrus County Jail under a $15,000 bond. Initial charges for Mr. Gillespie included carrying a concealed weapon and resist, delay, and obstruct an officer. He was confined in Cabarrus County Jail under a $10,000 bond.
Investigation the following day revealed that Mr. Gillespie had stolen over $2000 of the merchandise at the Locust Wal-Mart by pushing items out of a rear fire door at the business; a felony in North Carolina. Additional Stanly County charges against Mr. Gillespie were issued for the felony larceny as well as for Ms. Gorman. Additional Cabarrus County charges were unknown but expected, and warrants were obtained in Haywood County for similar crimes after investigation as a result of these arrests.
For the Locust Police Department this past weekend, a slightly lower level of reported incidents and calls for service resulted in increased traffic enforcement for the department.
For the weekend, the Locust Police Department conducted 33 traffic stops resulting in 22 charges. Of those 22 charges, 17 speeding citations were issued. Other charges included displaying a revoked registration plate and operating a vehicle without insurance.
In the early evening hours of Saturday April 20th, a vehicle operated by Mr. Alex Ivan Banegas-Martinez of Charlotte was stopped for speeding 51 in a 35 mph zone on South Central Avenue. A warrant check through the NCAware warrant database revealed five outstanding orders for arrest out of Union County. Mr. Martinez was placed under arrest, transported to Stanly County Jail and served with the active warrants. Mr. Martinez was issued a $5000 secured bond for the active warrants. Mr. Martinez was also cited for speeding and driving while license revoked.
Here’s a look at some of the law enforcement activities of the Locust Police Department for the first month of 2013:
In the early evening hours of January 8th, Locust officers responded to the report of shoplifting in progress at the Locust Wal-Mart. Locust Police were able to locate Mr. Roger Wayne Allen Jr. and Ms. Deirdre Rochelle Hinson, both of Midland, NC still inside the business. Locust officers found both individuals in possession of over $200 in concealed merchandise. Mr. Allen and Ms. Hinson were placed under arrest and transported to Stanly County Jail. Both received a $1000 bond and a court date of February 6th, 2013.
On the evening of January 17th, Mr. David Keith Allison of Locust was identified after the report of a domestic violence assault. Mr. Allison, who sustained injuries during the reported incident, was transported to Stanly Regional Medical Center. Upon Mr. Allison’s release, he was served with an arrest warrant for domestic violence assault on a female. His court date was set for February 13th.
In the late evening hours of January 21st, a Mercedes automobile operated by Ms. Tamisha Deanna Grace of Charlotte was stopped for failing to have two operable headlights. After a concealed gun was observed in the vehicle by Locust officers a passenger, Mr. Dimetric Javant’e Fleming of Albemarle was placed under arrest. Mr. Fleming was also found to be in possession of cocaine and marijuana. Mr. Fleming was transported to Stanly County Jail and formally charged with illegally carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Fleming was issued a $25,000 bond. Ms. Grace was cited for a headlight violation.
December 31st, 2012 marked the end of an era for the Locust Police Department as long standing Captain Charles L. Connell retired, ending a 33 year law enforcement career.
Captain Connell, a United States Army veteran attended Basic Law Enforcement training at the Charlotte Police Academy in 1978. His law enforcement career began in Locust in 1979 followed also by stints with the Stanfield Police Department. Captain Connell served as Chief of Police for the Stanfield Police Department for a time and was responsible for giving current Locust Chief of Police Frank Hartsell his first job in law enforcement. In 1993, Captain Connell became a full-time Locust officer where he would remain for the next 20 years until his recent retirement.
In Captain Connell’s last month with the department, his contributions, service and dedication were celebrated. Locust officers presented Captain Connell with a shadow box commemorating his service to Stanly County and his last year in law enforcement with the Locust Police Department. At a retirement celebration hosted by the city on December 28th, Captain Connell was presented a plaque commemorating and thanking him for his service to the city of Locust. And finally on January 10th at the monthly City Council meeting, Captain Connell was presented his Captain’s badge and service weapon by Chief Hartsell to honor his service. The United States Secret Service also presented Captain Connell with a plaque honoring his career as well as his assistance in a large fraudulent check ring investigation that he assisted in putting an end to. Captain Connell was also presented a plaque by Locust resident Stan “The Man” Preast on behalf of Locust citizens thanking him for his service. Finally, Captain Connell was given a standing ovation, a fitting tribute to a deserving officer and a distinguished career.
Captain Connell thanked the city and stated, “I’ve enjoyed working for the city and we have the best group of officers here in Locust that we’ve ever had.” “I’ve talked to every one of them, and I might be leaving the job, but I’m still going to be close by. I’ll be there any time they need anything.” (Credit: Stanly News & Press)
Captain Connell will remain in the Stanly County area and plans to just enjoy retirement with his wife. All of us at the Locust Police Department want to thank Captain Connell for his outstanding service and congratulate him on a very well deserved retirement. We will all miss Captain Connell around the office, but wish him and his family the very best.
The Locust Police Department recently arrested three individuals in unrelated incidents, after confirming existing outstanding arrest warrants through the NCAware warrant database program.
On March 21st shortly before 2:30 am, a traffic stop was initiated to investigate evidence of impaired driving after observing a vehicle weaving in its lane several times. The driver, Ms. Chelsea Jourdan Higgins of Midland, was found not to be impaired however her driver’s license was found to be suspended. Ms. Higgins was cited for driving while license revoked and driving left of center. A passenger in the vehicle, Mr. Christian Dakota Kidd of Albemarle, was found to have an active arrest warrant out of Mecklenburg County for failure to appear. Mr. Kidd was placed under arrest and transported to Stanly County Jail where he was served with the active warrant and issued a $500 bond.
On March 29th at approximately 3:45 pm, the Locust Police responded to a local Locust business after being notified that an individual with an active order for their arrest was at the business. A traffic stop of a vehicle transporting Mr. Clyde Lee Pennington was initiated once Stanly Communications confirmed the active warrant through NCAware. Mr. Pennington of Locust, was placed under arrest and transported to Stanly County Jail where he was served with the warrant on charges including; two counts of assault on a female and one count of communicating threats. Mr. Pennington was placed on a 48 hour domestic violence hold and his court date set for April 18th. The driver of the vehicle transporting Mr. Pennington, Ms. Cindy Marie Pennington of Locust, was found to have a suspended driver’s license. The truck she was operating also displayed a fictitious and revoked registration plate. Ms. Pennington was cited for driving while license revoked, displaying a fictitious and revoked registration plate, and failing to register a motor vehicle in North Carolina. Locust Police seized the fictitious/revoked plate, towed the vehicle, and Ms. Pennington’s court date was set for April 17th.
On March 29th at approximately 5:00 pm, the Locust Police Department responded to a residence on Meadowcreek Church Road after confirming an active warrant for trespassing through NCAware. Mr. Jamie William Hinson of Locust was placed under arrest and transported to Stanly County Jail. Mr. Hinson was served with the warrant and issued a $500 bond.
NCAware is a compiled database of all active warrants issued anywhere in North Carolina and allows easy access for officers searching for outstanding warrants on individuals during encounters. Used in conjunction with the National Crime Information Center database, NCAware has proven to be an invaluable resource for the Locust Police Department and law enforcement officers statewide, aiding in the apprehension of criminal fugitives and absconders.
– For the weekend of March 16-18, the Locust Police Department responded to or initiated 37 calls of varying nature. Of these calls, 2 incidents of breaking and entering were reported, an arrest on an outstanding warrant for communicating threats was made, and a criminal summons on a misdemeanor charge was issued.
– There were 37 traffic stops conducted during the weekend and a multi-agency checkpoint conducted on the late evening/early morning of March 16-17. Total citations issued during traffic stops and checkpoint activities totaled 44 and included 19 speeding violations, 2 driving while license revoked, 2 no operator’s license charges, 1 charge of possession of marijuana, 4 charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, 3 charges of consumption of alcohol under the age of 21, and 1 charge of provisional DWI.
POSSIBLE TELEPHONE FRAUD OCCURRING IN LOCUST
The Locust Police Department has received reports that some citizens are receiving telephone calls at their residence from individuals claiming to be representatives of local area businesses. Caller ID on these calls are even showing the name and number of the local business. When these citizens have answered the phone, the calling party will then either attempt to sell some type of merchandise, or offer to assist in lowering the interest rate on current credit cards. Shortly after these offers are made, the calling party will begin asking questions about account balances and other account information associated with the credit card. There has also been a report of an individual that received a call requesting a donation to the Locust Police Department, once again requesting financial information for this fraudulent donation.
The Locust Police Department strongly advises all citizens to never give any information out over the telephone regarding any of your personal or financial information, including your Social Security Number. The Locust Police Department also advises that if you are considering any type of action that involves the release of any personal or financial information, that you do your research on the business or individual you are consulting with to be absolutely sure they are reputable. It is also highly recommended that any financial services you are considering, the individual you are consulting with should be sitting in front of you, preferably in an office, while completing any documentation. If you are completing transactions on the internet, again be sure that you have researched the service you are using to be sure they are reputable. When you are making a payment or transferring funds, make sure you are using a secure service such as PayPal.
Finally, we would also like to inform all citizens that as of the current date, March 1st, 2012, the Locust Police Department is NOT conducting any fund raising activities. If there is ever a time in the future that we would hold any type of fund raiser, those donations would never be solicited over the phone. Please keep these tips in mind and report any suspicious activity to the Locust Police Department.
Urban Archery/Bow-and-Arrow deer hunting is allowed within the municipal limits of the City of Locust on private property, with property owner permission, a valid NC Hunting license, and any other licensing, permits, and registrations required by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (www.ncwildlife.org, 919-707-0010). The season is from January 14, 2012 through February 18, 2012.
We do not have a list of property owners who will allow hunting on their property. There are no City owned properties where hunting is allowed.
The Locust Police Department recently made traffic stops that discovered the drivers were impaired. This brings December’s total to 5 DWI charges.
In the early morning hours of December 17th, a vehicle driven by Ms. Morgan Taylor Gravitte of Albemarle was stopped in the Hickory Ridge sub-division after observing the vehicle suspiciously driving into the neighborhood in the early morning hours and observing a minor traffic violation.
Upon stopping the vehicle, Locust Police smelled the odor of alcohol inside the vehicle. After further investigation, Ms. Gravitte was requested to give a breath sample into an Alco-Sensor portable breath device. Ms. Gravitte blew a positive level of alcohol concentration.
Although Ms. Gravitte was under the legal limit of alcohol impairment prescribed by the state of North Carolina, Ms. Gravitte was cited for Provisional Driving While Impaired based on the North Carolina statute that it is against the law for any individual under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle with alcohol remaining in their system. Ms. Gravitte was also cited for Driving Outside of a Restriction on her license and issued a written warning for having an Inoperable Registration Plate Light.
A passenger, Ms. Erin Michelle Burleyson of Mount Pleasant was cited for Aiding & Abetting Provisional Driving While Impaired as well as Allowing an Unlicensed Driver to Drive.
In the mid-day hours of December 18th, a vehicle operated by Mr. James Ryan Dennis was stopped after observing his vehicle travel left of the center line and driving 47 mph in a 35 mph zone.
After smelling the odor of alcohol in the vehicle and finding open containers of alcohol, Mr. Dennis was requested to perform roadside field sobriety tests. Mr. Dennis was placed under arrest for Driving While Impaired and transported to Stanly County Jail. There Mr. Dennis blew a .10 on Intoximeter, .02 higher than North Carolina’s legal limit.
Mr. Corie Stanback, a passenger in Mr. Dennis’ vehicle, was cited for Possessing an Open Container of Alcohol in a vehicle.
In the evening hours of December 16th after being observed by Wal-Mart loss prevention removing DVD’s from their packaging and concealing them, a vehicle driven by Mr. Ketric Dewan Allen of Norwood was stopped by the Locust Police Department as he attempted to leave the parking lot.
Further investigation revealed that Mr. Allen had removed $85 worth of DVDs from their packaging containing security strips and concealing them in his clothing, circumventing Wal-Mart’s inventory control system. Mr. Allen was found in possession of the DVDs and arrested for Larceny by Removing Anti-Theft Inventory Control Device, constituting a felony in North Carolina
Mr. Allen was transported to Stanly County Jail where he was formally booked on multiple Felony Larceny charges as well as a related Misdemeanor Larceny charge. A secured bond of $1500 and a court date of January 24th, 2012 was issued for Mr. Allen.
Adding to a recent trend, the Locust Police Department recently made more traffic stops that resulted in arrest and drug charges.
Shortly before midnight on December 12th, a vehicle operated by Mr. Ryan Andrew Brown of Charlotte was stopped in front of the Crutchfield campus for traveling 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. After smelling a strong odor of marijuana and observing partially smoked marijuana in the vehicle, it was discovered that Mr. Brown was in possession of 9.4 grams of marijuana. Also found in his possession was a marijuana pipe smoking device. A passenger in the vehicle, Ms. Cassandra Anna Redman of Locust was found in possession of 8.29 grams of marijuana, a marijuana pipe smoking device, and a marijuana “grinder” device. Mr. Brown was cited for Speeding 60 in a 45, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Ms. Redman was cited for Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both individual’s court date was set for January 24th.
In the early morning hours of December 13th, after receiving a call from a concerned citizen who observed a possibly intoxicated driver traveling toward Locust from Midland, a vehicle operated by Mr. Joseph Carlyle Trull of Stanfield was stopped near Church Street, after observing the vehicle traveling in excess of the posted 35 mph speed limit as well as suspiciously pulling into a closed business parking lot and turning the vehicle’s lights off. After investigation it was determined that Mr. Trull was intoxicated and he was placed under arrest for Driving While Impaired. After arrest, it was discovered through a search of the vehicle several items of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Trull was charged with Driving While Impaired, Driving After Consuming Alcohol Under 21, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Exceeding a Posted Speed Limit. His court date was set for January 24th.
In the early morning hours of October 23rd, a driver who had caused property damage with their vehicle in Stanfield was caught by the Locust Police Department on Vella Drive in Locust and discovered to be Driving While Impaired.
Ms. Keriston Janielle Hinson of Locust had apparently gone off the road in her vehicle on Love Mill Road destroying a mail box and fencing of a cow pasture. Ms. Hinson was approached by a passer-by who stopped to check her well-being but then Ms. Hinson drove off from the scene of the damage at a high rate of speed. The passer-by was able to stay close enough to Ms. Hinson’s vehicle to allow Stanly County 911 to relay her location to law enforcement. The Locust Police Department with great assistance and cooperation from the Stanfield Police Department was able to stop Ms. Hinson at the intersection of Vella Drive and East Main Street. Ms. Hinson was arrested by the Locust Police Department on the charge of Driving While Impaired, and cited by the Stanfield Police Department for hit and run/leaving the scene of a traffic crash. Ms. Hinson’s alcohol level was determined to be .18, over twice the legal limit allowed in North Carolina.
On November 6th, the Locust Police Department responded to the report of a larceny in progress call at Wal-Mart. With the aid of alert surveillance by Wal-Mart’s loss prevention office, the Locust Police Department was able to confront Mr. Ronald Deese of Stanfield, who had removed a knife from its packaging and concealed it in his pocket with the intent of stealing it from the business.
The $40.00 knife was recovered and returned to Wal-Mart. Mr. Deese was cited for Shoplifting/Concealment Of Merchandise.
On August 26th, 2011, after a call from a helpful citizen and only a 1 minute response time by the Locust Police Department, two suspects were arrested after shattering a vehicle’s window in the parking lot area of the Locust Wal-Mart, and attempting to flee the scene with several valuable items from inside the vehicle.
Mr. Jonathan David Bridges of Ashley Road in Charlotte, NC, and Mr. William Warren Charles of Heathstead Place in Charlotte, were observed shattering the window of a Chevrolet pick-up truck in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. The two then snatched a GPS device, a RADAR detector device, and a bag containing a drill before attempting to flag a car down to flee the scene.
The quick response time from the Locust Police Department allowed both subjects to be apprehended while they attempted to hide the items at the outside area of McDonalds. Mr. Charles was charged with Felony Breaking And Entering of a Vehicle, Damage to Property, Misdemeanor Larceny, as well as Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mr. Bridges was also charged with Felony Breaking And Entering of a Vehicle, Damage to Property, Misdemeanor Larceny and Resist, and Obstruct, And Delay of an Officer. Mr. Bridges was also found to have an outstanding arrest warrant out of Gaston County for Misdemeanor Larceny. Both subjects were confined under a $3000 secured bond. All items stolen were recovered by the Locust Police Department and returned to the victim.
On September 10th, 2011, after being notified of a theft of a purse from the Midland, NC area and an ensuing investigation, Ms. Megan Brooke Kenney of Rodney Street in Locust was identified as the prime suspect in a case of Financial Card Fraud and Identity Theft.
Originally reported in Cabarrus County, the stolen purse was found in the possession of Ms. Kennedy at her address. Additional investigation of security camera footage at the Locust Food Lion and the Locust Alco, as well as the helpful cooperation of the victim providing bank records, it was discovered that Ms. Kennedy had used the victim’s bank card at both locations.
Warrants were obtained for Ms. Kennedy for 3 counts of Identity Theft, 3 counts of Financial Card Fraud, and 1 count of Possession of Stolen Property. Ms. Kennedy was apprehended 3 days later and confined under a $10,000 secured bond.
On September 14th, 2011, after being identified by Wal-Mart personnel and security camera footage, as well as a 3 minute response time by the Locust Police Department, Ms. Stacy Renee Shaw of Monta Drive in Concord, NC was arrested and charged with 3 counts of Felonious Larceny By Anti-Inventory Device.
Ms. Shaw on the current day, as well as on two previous occasions, had entered the Locust Wal-Mart and removed multiple items from packaging containing security strips. The strips cause an alarm to sound if not deactivated before leaving the business, and removing items from these packages to avoid setting off the alarm constitutes a felony in North Carolina.
Ms. Shaw had taken a total value of $704.57 in merchandise during the three thefts with $285.88 worth of merchandise being recovered by the Locust Police Department. Ms. Shaw was confined under a $5000 secured bond.
A neighborhood watch has been established for the King’s Heights/Sherwood Park area through the cooperative efforts of the Locust Police Department and the outstanding residents of the King’s Heights/Sherwood Park neighborhood.
An orientation meeting was held in August at the Locust Police Department with a tremendous turnout of nearly 30 neighborhood residents. Helpful information packets as well as neighborhood crime prevention tips were handed out and detailed, and the resident’s current concerns were addressed.
Officer J.B. Shew of the Locust Police Department said, “The King’s Heights/Sherwood Park area continues to be a safe neighborhood to live in, but we wanted to take the same pro-active preventative approach with crime prevention that the City of Locust takes with our Police Department. And that’s to prevent any major problems from starting to begin with. Cooperation and education is the key and we try to stress how helpful neighborhood residents can be in reporting and helping us prevent as well as solve crimes.”
Officer Shew and Officer T.E. Smith will be heading up the program for the King’s Heights/Sherwood Park area, with the help of Neighborhood Watch coordinator Sergeant S.R. Smith. Both officers plan to keep residents informed through e-mail as well as a monthly newsletter of current Locust Police Department events, monthly crime stats, and helpful information. New Neighborhood Watch signs have already been placed in the neighborhood.
Any Locust neighborhoods that are interested in establishing a Neighborhood Watch, please contact Sgt. Smith at (704)888-4744.