BY KRISTEN HART
A reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for five police vehicle break-ins that occurred from July 29-Aug. 4 was announced in a press release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Charlotte Field Division. The incidents occurred in Caldwell, Catawba and Burke counties.
According to the release, the crimes are being investigated by the ATF, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Hickory Police Department, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Burke County Sheriff’s Office and Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.
Captain Aaron Barlowe of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said Caldwell is working the Burke County Sheriff's Office, the SBI and Hickory Police to pursue leads in the case.
The reward comes after three Hickory Police vehicles, one Iredell County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and one Burke County Sheriff’s Office vehicle were targeted for theft last week, according to Anjanette Grube, public information officer for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
A Barnes Precision Machine rifle, a shirt and pants with the Hickory Police Department insignia, a bulletproof vest, a drone, ammunition in the weapon, and hearing protection were stolen from a Hickory police vehicle parked in Caldwell County. Another Hickory patrol car had four AR-15 magazines stolen out of it in Long View, according to a previous Hickory Daily Record article.
“Several agencies are working together on this investigation as part of a multiagency collaboration,” Grube said. “Law enforcement officers, like anyone else, can fall victim to crime and we must also remain vigilant.”
Tips may be submitted anonymously using the “ReportIt” app or by visiting www.reportit.com, according to the release. Information may also be sent to the Hickory Police Department at (828) 261-2625.
ATF along with our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that communities are safe, and that those who commit violent crimes such as this are held accountable, the release said.
News Herald reporter Chrissy Murphy contributed to this story.