ACSO charges five in February break-in

By Adam Orr - [email protected]

JEFFERSON-The Ashe County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it’s charged five people in a February break-in case where more than $20,000 in property was stolen.

In total, ACSO Lt. Detective Dennis Anders said five Caldwell County men and women were hit with a litany of charges earlier this week after he said they stole an enclosed trailer and broke into two Shepherd Mini-Storage units some seven months ago.

According to Anders, the five people charged in the case include:

  • Jerry Lee Martin, 48, of Lenoir
  • Christy Selynn Herron, 43, of Lenoir
  • Herron’s son Tyler Lee Stafford, 24, of Lenoir
  • Jody Jay Houck, 48, of Lenoir
  • and Jody Houck’s son Cody Ryan Houck, 26, of Lenoir

Anders said he took 36 felony warrants out on Sept. 8, including possession of stolen property, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and felony larceny. An additional misdemeanor damage to property charge will also be assessed against the five.

Anders said he was unsure whether the warrants had been served on all the named individuals, and the Caldwell County Detention Center only lists Martin as currently in its jail.

“We were able to complete an investigation and charge these individuals,” Anders said. “The report was filed in February. They just drove up here (from Caldwell County) on a Sunday, about 1 p.m. and did this. Some of them had never even been up here before. One of them liked the mountains because they are pretty and just drove up here and went to Shepherd Storage.”

The stolen trailer contained pricey power equipment like an all terrain vehicle, two power tillers, two push mowers, a gas powered post hole digger and a pressure washer.

He said the five were also able to quickly gain entry to two storage units after snipping through padlocks with bolt cutters.

Anders said property theft cases like this one are typically hard to solve, but said information about this incident – and others across the region – came to light recently the led to the arrests.

“We got some information to follow up on and it panned out,” Anders said. “We were lucky to get the break that we did, but it was exactly what we needed.”

Anders said this case is also connected to similar break-ins in at least four other North Carolina counties – Avery, Burke, Caldwell and Wilkes – along with smash and grab jobs in Galax, Va and Mountain City, TN.

Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.

By Adam Orr

[email protected]

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