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Police chief: Spring Hope officers investigate car theft ring, school cafeteria break-in, child abuse case

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SPRING HOPE — Police officers have recently investigated everything from assaults to teenagers breaking into the elementary school cafeteria to child abuse to an interstate car theft ring.

Police Chief Nathan Gant presented the cases his officers have been working over the last two months during the last couple of town board meetings.

At around 6 p.m. on May 10, Officer N. Barbour responded to Spring Hope Elementary School in response to an alarm. He discovered a door open and located two 15-year-old girls attempting to steal items from the cafeteria. A juvenile petition has been sought on both girls for breaking and entering, attempted larceny, trespassing and resisting a public officer.

At around 3:30 p.m. on May 20, Barbour responded to AutoBarn on South Pine Street in reference to a vehicle being purchased by fraudulent means. The scam is part of an interstate organized crime ring and police are working with several state and federal agencies.

At around 10:20 p.m. on May 22, Officer D. Radford responded to an opioid overdose on the 900 block of East Nash Street. Radford administered Narcan to a 35-year-old man who denied transportation to the hospital. Police confiscated and destroyed all drugs and paraphernalia as required by state law. 

At around 8:30 a.m. on May 26, Officer J. Gwaltney responded to Denton’s Automotive in reference to several vehicles being damaged overnight. The incident remains under investigation.

At around 8:20 p.m. June 7, officers responded to the 300 block of North Walnut Street where a theft had occurred. Suspects have been identified in the ongoing investigation.

At around 7 p.m. on June 10, the police department was notified of a child abuse incident that was reported to county social workers.

At around 1:30 a.m. on June 17, Radford and Officer P. Lenhart responded to the 100 block of Northeast Street where an assault had occurred. Police charged 33-year-old Eric Harrison of Rocky Mount with two counts of assault on a female, simple assault and resisting a police officer. Harrison received a 15-day contempt of court sentence for alleged behavior while at the magistrate’s office.

At around 6:30 a.m. on June 17, an alleged victim of credit card fraud contacted Detective T. Bell, who opened an investigation. Bell served a search warrant at a home on the 300 block of West Branch Street. The investigation continues.

At around 10 a.m. on June 18, Officer Gwaltney responded to a call of property damage on the 500 block of South Pine Street. Gwaltney’s investigation revealed the damage occurred due to a mechanical malfunction. The report was closed.

At around noon on June 19, Lenhart responded to a reported larceny at the Auction House on East Nash Street. The theft occurred the night of June 18. Police have no leads in the case. Anyone who may have seen something suspicious that night or knows anything about the crime is asked to contact police.

At around 11 p.m. on June 21, Radford and Lenhart responded to a disturbance at a house on the 100 block of Northside Street. Two teenagers showed signs they were assaulted by their mother. Police notified social workers and served the mother with arrest warrants for two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

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