2017 NEWS AND PRESS RELEASES
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. He 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.