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home : news : law enforcement January 22, 2019

1/11/2019 11:43:00 AM
High Shoals Man Charged In Theft From Former Employer

Lincoln County Sheriff's
Office Press Release

LINCOLNTON, N.C. – A High Shoals man has been charged in connection with the theft of lawn equipment valued at more than $8,000 from a business where he had formerly worked.

On January 3, 2019 deputies responded to a residence on Prince Drive, Lincolnton, NC in reference to a burglary. The victim told officers that he had been on vacation and when he returned his building, truck and house had been broken into. The victim runs a lawn care business and a number of items were reported stolen.

Stolen in the break-in were two 60 inch cut zero turn mowers, two brush cutters, two backpack blowers, an air compressor and other items including a laptop and approximately $200 in change.

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During the investigation detectives learned that a neighbor saw a silver or blue van pull into the driveway of the home on Christmas Eve. Two people from the van exited the vehicle and started loading equipment in the van and on a trailer. The neighbor did not find that suspicious because the van had been there before. A former employee was developed as a suspect and officers discovered that some of the items had been pawned at area pawn shops in Gaston County. All of the stolen property was recovered except for a zero turn mower and a utility trailer. A generator and an IPad were recovered from the suspect’s residence in High Shoals, NC. Detective Justin Link interviewed the suspect who gave a full confession about the crime.

Dustin Lee Mullinax, 27, of North Lincoln Street, High Shoals, NC is charged with two felony counts each of breaking and entering a building, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods. He is also charged with one misdemeanor count each of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny. Mullinax was arrested on January 6, 2019 and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond.

Investigation into the incident is continuing and more arrests are possible.

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