A traffic stop in western Catawba County led to the discovery of $15,000 worth of stolen equipment and the arrest of a Conover man.
On July 3, a Catawba County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a vehicle on Old Shelby Road around 9:15 a.m. for a traffic violation. The vehicle was driven by 25-year-old Justin Dennis Lynch of 4538 N.C. 16 North, according to a Catawba County Sheriff’s Office press release.
The deputy saw numerous chainsaws and leaf blowers in Lynch’s vehicle. During the investigation, the officer found outstanding warrants in Hickory for Lynch’s arrest and that the equipment was reported stolen from Mimosa Hills Golf Club in Morganton, the release said.
According to the release, three STIHL leaf blowers, valued at $1,650, and four STIHL chainsaws, valued at $2,600, were recovered from the vehicle.
During a follow-up investigation, deputies also recovered a $9,000 wood chipper reported stolen in Morganton and a $2,000 utility trailer reported stolen in Conover, the release said.
Sheriff Don Brown said he appreciates the Catawba County deputy’s work.
“I’m pleased this deputy worked to follow up on what he felt was suspicious. He could have handled the traffic violation and went on his way. Instead, he worked to investigate and in the end, was able to return people’s property to them, and arrest the suspect,” Brown said in the press release.
Lynch is charged with felony larceny out of Burke County, according to the North Carolina Judicial Branch website. He is also charged with driving without a license and speeding.