Hillsborough Shoplifting Leads to Multi-State Fraud Investigation

A case of shoplifting at the Home Depot in Hillsborough led to the arrest of a man on fraud charges.

Hillsborough Police say officers were originally called to the home improvement store on Hampton Pointe Boulevard on a shoplifting call. Authorities were then notified of potential fraud.

Police say 31-year-old Luis Miguel Hernandez-Castillo, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, was at the store trying to purchase digital thermostats with a stolen credit card number. Hernandez-Castillo told officers he was buying lumber for his house in New Jersey, according to officials. But police say that digital thermostats from Home Depot locations in North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina were all located in his vehicle.

Police say Hernandez-Castillo have been arrested for obtaining property by false pretense from the multiple stores. He is currently being held in the Orange County Jail under a $100,000 bond, according to authorities. An investigation is continuing.


Orange County Man Charged with 11 Counts of Attempted First-Degree Rape

An Orange County man has been arrested on multiple counts of attempted rape.

Records show Joseph Michael Costa is facing 11 counts attempted first-degree rape, four counts of first-degree sex offense with a child and one count of indecent liberties. Costa was taken into custody by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, according to jail records.

Investigator Andre Richmond said the Sheriff’s Office became aware of the situation through a referral from the Department of Social Services. Richmond said that the charges stem from an incident involving two minor family members of Costa. Richmond said one of the victims is now an adult and one is still a minor.

Officials say the assaults took place over a period of years in the past.

Richmond said he does not anticipate any additional charges in the case. Costa is currently being held in the Orange County jail on $250,000 bond and has his first court appearance set for Wednesday.


AK-47 and AR-15 Rifles Seized from Pittsboro Home After Drug Search

Chatham County authorities seized AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, one shotgun and over 100 rounds of ammunition from a Pittsboro residence when conducting a search earlier this month.

Christian Dominick Lenoir. Photo via Chatham County Sheriff's Office.

Christian Dominick Lenoir. Photo via Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say 27-year-old Christian Dominick Lenoir, of Old Graham Road in Pittsboro, was arrested after a search of his residence on August 14.

In addition to the firearms and ammunition, law enforcement officials say two ounces of marijuana, three scales, plastic bags and a vacuum sealer machine were all seized along with more than $2,200 in cash.

Lenoir has been charged with possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana, felony possession of a schedulve VI controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lenoir is due back in court on September 19.


Chatham County Authorities Seeking Information from Public to Solve 2014 Homicide

Chatham County authorities are asking for the public’s help to solve a two-year-old homicide.

Officials with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office say 38-year-old Demetrius Elliot Headen, of Siler City, was found in his vehicle off of Siler City Snow Camp Road on June 1, 2014. Investigators determined Headen died of a gunshot would.

The incident was initially ruled a homicide.

Several leads were developed during a joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation, according to law enforcement. But now authorities are asking if anyone has any information that could assist the investigation to put together the final pieces of what happened the morning of his death.

“This is an opportunity to help provide closure for the case and for Mr. Headen’s family, especially his children,” investigator Will Summers said in a release. “If you have any information to share, please call us. It isn’t too late.”

Investigators say they do believe there are community members “who have knowledge of the shooting.”

The victim’s family held multiple fundraising events, according to authorities, and they are currently offering a cash reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Headen’s death.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office at (919) 545-8150.


Registration Underway for Chapel Hill Police 5K Benefitting Special Olympics

Early-bird registration is now open for the 2016 Guardians of the Hill 5k race and Kids fun-run benefiting the North Carolina Special Olympics.

The Chapel Hill Police Department will be holding this event on September 25, at 2pm for a full day of fun for the family.

Chapel Hill Police Lieutenant Josh Mecimore said this event is a great opportunity to meet the members of your local public safety personnel in Chapel Hill.

“We think it’s a worthy cause and we’d certainly like to have folks come out and help us support it,” Mecimore said.

Register before August 30 to race at the discounted price of $20. Prices will increase starting August 31 to $25 for the 5k race.

Click the link to the Chapel Hill Police Department website where you can register online or print off a mailing application.


Fordham Boulevard Reopens After Crash in Chapel Hill

***UPDATE: Chapel Hill Police say the roadway reopened and the traffic signal began working at 3:30 Wednesday morning.***

Power lines are down and traffic signals are out at Fordham Boulevard and Sage Road after an accident in Chapel Hill Tuesday.

Chapel Hill Police officials say a passenger vehicle struck a power pole, which caused the power lines to fall and knocked out power to the traffic signals. Witnesses say police are directing traffic through the busy intersection.

Fordham Blvd

Fordham Blvd. Photo via NCDOT

Southbound lanes of Fordham Boulevard and Old Durham Road near Sage Road are currently closed. Police say side streets in the area are heavily congested and that drivers should expect significant delays.

Police are asking motorists and pedestrians to avoid the area if at all possible.

Repair crews expect the intersection and surrounding area to remain closed or congested until after five o’clock Tuesday evening.


Multiple Drug Busts in Chatham County

Chatham County authorities have arrested two men in what appear to be separate incidents involving narcotics.

Members of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle on White Cross Road in Pittsboro on August 4. That stop led to a search of the vehicle where deputies found six grams of crack cocaine. Officials say 46-year-old Reginald Bland, of Graham, was operating the vehicle and was taken into custody. Bland was charged with possession with intent to sell/deliver cocaine, possession of cocaine, maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Also on August 4, members of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office searched a residence at 4440 Old Graham Road, in Pittsboro, where investigators seized 16.5 grams of crack cocaine, along with 28 grams of marijuana, 17.74 grams of opiates, 6.64 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and over $3,000 in cash.

Donvelle “Chubbs” Partridge was arrested after the search. The 34-year-old was charged with 13 drug offenses including trafficking opiates and counts of possession with intent to sell/deliver a schedule I, schedule II and schedule VI controlled substances.

Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson issued a statement in the release associated with the arrest of Partridge:

“I commend my staff on their teamwork and investigative skills. I also want to encourage any citizen who is concerned over potential criminal activity in his or her neighborhood to contact the Sheriff’s Office with more information. Community safety is a responsibility we all share, and we value citizen participation in safeguarding the welfare of Chatham County.”

The releases announcing the arrests were sent separately on the same day by Chatham County officials. They did not say the cases were related.

Bland was being held under a $10,700 bond as of last update.

Meanwhile, Partridge was being held on a $300,000 secured bond.

Both are scheduled for court appearances in Pittsboro on August 22.


Two Arrested in Orange County Drug Investigation

A three-month narcotics investigation has led to multiple arrests by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say investigators initially received information in May that prescription medication and other illicit drugs were being distributed near Orange High School in the area of Highway 57 and Rencher Street in Hillsborough.

Orange County Sheriff’s Investigators have arrested 35-year-old Chavis Lamar McPherson and 20-year-old Bobbi Ann Grady and both are facing multiple drug charges.

McPherson has been charged with outstanding warrants for trafficking opiates, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule IV controlled substance and maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances.

McPherson was out on bond on similar charges at the time of his arrest, according to officials.

Grady has been served with outstanding warrants for trafficking opiates, two counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance, two counts of sell an deliver a schedule II controlled substance and conspiracy to sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance.

McPherson is being held on a $250,000 secured bond. Grady was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond.

A Dodge Truck, approximately 105 dosage units of prescription medication and US currency were seized as part of the investigation.

Authorities say this is an ongoing investigation and additional charges and arrests are anticipated.


Police Seeking Information After Vandals Damage Historic Hillsborough Tree

A decades-old ornamental street tree in downtown Hillsborough has been vandalized and police want your help tracking down those who did it.

Officials say the approximately 25-foot-tall crepe myrtle, which stands on the west side of Churton Street between Tryon and King Streets, was vandalized by an unknown person.

Police say the suspect sawed through the tree’s bark around the entire base of the trunk, drilled holes into the trunk and applied herbicide. Officials say it appears the vandal or vandals intended to kill the tree.

Police believe the vandalism occurred in “one or more incidents over the past two weeks.”

The tree is valued at $25,000 due to its size and age.

Town officials say trees growing in rights-of-way are town property and cannot be removed or pruned without explicit permission from the Hillsborough Tree Board.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to contact Hillsborough Police Sergeant Chip White at (919) 732-9381, extension 34.

More information about the street trees can be found by calling staff for the Hillsborough Tree Board at (919) 732-1270, extension 74.


Final Suspect Arrested, Others Appear in Court for Killing Chapel Hill Teenager

Chapel Hill Police have arrested the fifth suspect in connection with the fatal shooting of a teenager on Tuesday night.

Laquida Shuntae Poston. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Laquida Shuntae Poston. Photo via Blake Hodge.

The release announcing the arrest of 23-year-old Denzel Lamont Spikes, of Shelby, came after the other four suspects charged in the case made their first appearance in a Hillsborough courtroom on Thursday afternoon.

Those four suspects who were already in custody are 26-year-old Laquida Shuntae Poston from Shelby; 22-year-old Renaire Lewis II from Shelby; 30-year-old Thomas Oliver from Gastonia and 18-year-old Jalen Raekwon Hackney from Burlington. They have been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and accessory after the fact.

Thomas Oliver. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Thomas Oliver. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Lamar Proctor said in court that the four were facing the accessory after the fact charge for driving Spikes to a Greensboro hospital so that he could receive treatment for a gunshot wound sustained during the shooting. Officials have not said how Spikes sustained that gunshot wound.

Proctor said the robbery charges stemmed from the suspects taking marijuana from the victims valued at $350 – $700 after the shooting.

Police say officers were called to a shooting off of Legion Road on Jackie Robinson Street near Adelaide Walters Street just before 10 o’clock on Tuesday night. Officers found two victims – both 18 years old – with gunshot wounds at the scene.

Malik Brown was pronounced dead at the hospital, while Tanner Cobb was listed in stable condition as of last update.

Renaire Lewis II. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Renaire Lewis II. Photo via Blake Hodge.

A youcaring page has been established hoping to cover the medical cost for Cobb and funeral expenses for Brown and a vigil is planned to remember Brown on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the four suspects who made first appearances on Thursday are due back in court on August 15. They are all being held without bond.