Editor’s note: The Union County Sheriff’s Office reported the following significant crimes – defined as any violation exceeding a misdemeanor – from Jan. 20 to 26. The sheriff’s office report were no significant crimes in Fairview, Lake Park, Marvin , Mineral Springs or Unionville.
Six-month investigation leads to Monroe residents
Two Monroe residents were charged Jan. 20 with 19 cases of vehicle theft and “vehicle closing” as part of a six-month investigation by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Marcus Lawrence Bradley and Marlayna Jerkeisha Stafford, both of 608 Creekridge Drive, Monroe, were arrested at 9:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Walmart at 2004 U.S. Hwy. 74 W., attempting to sell a stolen vehicle to undercover inspectors. Authorities say the man and woman also had attached a false, or cloned, registration number to the vehicle.
Investigators say the pair are connected to thefts of vehicles in Union, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Anson, Stanly, Davidson, Rowan, Guilford, Forsyth and Gaston counties. Inspectors say vehicle identification plates of the stolen vehicles, mostly older-model Hondas and Nissans, were replaced with VIN plates of junked or salvaged vehicles. Sales of these stolen, cloned vehicles were made in parking lots and on roadsides, and the suspects also offered fraudulent titles.
Bradley, 28, was charged with 15 felony counts, ranging from possessing and receiving a stolen vehicle to identity theft and altering and forging a vehicle title and serial number. Stafford, 21, was charged with three felony counts of possessing and receiving a stolen vehicle and altering and forging a vehicle title. Both are being held in the Anson County jail under $100,000 secured bonds.
A search warrant issued for the suspects’ Monroe residence yielded many items related to vehicle theft and title fraud, including counterfeit titles, fictitious notary seals, fraudulent duplicate title transfer forms, lock pick keys, burglary tools, removed VIN plates, paper stock, computers, printers and scanners. N.C. License and Theft Bureau inspectors, working out of the Division of Motor Vehicle’s Charlotte office, are continuing the investigation.
Suspect arrested after decade on the run
After a decade on the run, a man charged with the 1999 rape of a 13-year-old girl in Monroe was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 25, in Rockwell, Texas.
Investigators arrested Jack Allen Poteat, 46, after getting tip calls through an episode of America’s Most Wanted.
A jury indicted Poteat in June 1999 on charges of first-degree statutory rape, first-degree statutory sex offense, taking indecent liberties with a minor and crimes against nature. Poteat failed to appear for his jury trial on Oct. 19, 1999, and has been a fugitive ever since.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to have profiled this case on America’s Most Wanted, as well as the opportunity to work with the FBI and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in apprehending this man,” Union County Chief Deputy Ben Bailey said in a news release. “This is a prime example of what can happen when law enforcement agencies share information and cooperate in investigations. It also demonstrates that the public has the courage and willingness to come forward and turn in criminals.”
A profile of the case aired on America’s Most Wanted on Saturday, Jan. 22. Viewers in Texas recognized Poteat and called the FBI. When law enforcement officers approached Poteat’s Rockwell, Texas, home, he tried to escape in a truck, wrecking it after a short chase. Poteat is being treated for minor injuries.
“After more than a decade, most fugitives may begin to believe they’ve beaten the system, but this case proves we won’t give up the chase. Our law enforcement partners and the task force officer on our Safe Streets Task Force never stopped searching for Poteat,” Aaron T. Ford, acting special agent in charge of the Charlotte FBI, said in the news release. “This also proves the public can be our eyes and ears when we most need their help. Those tipsters who called in share in the success of this case.”
Vehicles stolen from Kings Farm Way
A homeowner called deputies to the 2500 block of Kings Farm Way on Jan. 21 when he found two vehicles – a 1978 Jeep and a 1974 AMGM Mail Car – missing. There was no sign of damage at the property, and nothing else was missing. The vehicles are worth an estimated $2,700.
Just needed some medical attention
An Indian Trail man called the sheriff’s office Jan. 21, after coming home to find something missing from inside his vehicle. There was no sign of a break-in and no damage to the car, located in the 5700 block of W Hwy 74, but his $200 medicine storage box was gone.
Ran off with a tire
A tire was the most interesting piece of property to thieves who visited a home at the 3000 block of Alice Flagg Lane Jan. 24. Early in the morning, the 52-year-old homeowner came out to find one of the tires missing from his Audi A4.
Thief needed to charge his phone
A 56-year-old man came outside Saturday, Jan. 22, to find thieves had been by his car during the night. Thieves took advantage of the unlocked car in the 7100 block of Stirrup Court, and left with a GPS, $60 and two car chargers inside. The car was not damage.
Desperately wanting a book bag
Who would want to steal school books? That’s what deputies are wondering after a vehicle break-in in the 13600 block of Providence Road. Thieves broke the glass window to get inside a vehicle on the property, leaving with a laptop, a book bag and several school books. Damage was estimated at $200.
Tool shopping after midnight
A Wesley Chapel man came outside early Jan. 20 to find someone had stolen a grinder and gas-powered blower from an outbuilding in the 670 block of Underwood Road. The homeowner reported no damage.