HAMLET — A convicted thief is facing felony charges after police say he stole city property.
Early Monday morning, city workers reported that the city shop had broken into and that a pickup truck and equipment — including a shop fan, band saw and welder —had been stolen, according to Detective Lt. Randy Dover.
The truck was found on Old Ice Plant Road around 9:30 that morning.
The investigation led police to consider 29-year-old Tristan Tyler Johnson as a suspect.
Dover said Johnson was taken in for questioning but wouldn’t talk, but they had found a small amount of marijuana in his possession.
While following up on leads, Dover said police discovered the Mercedes Johnson was driving had been stolen from Charlotte — and the city’s welder was in the back seat. He added that more stolen property was recovered at a home in the Hamlet city limits.
Online court records show Johnson is charged with one felony count each of: breaking and/or entering; larceny after breaking and entering; and larceny of a motor vehicle.
He is also facing a charge of misdemeanor larceny, simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Dover said investigators in Mecklenburg County are planning to bring charges against Johnson for the stolen car.
Johnson was booked into the Richmond County Jail under a $15,500 secured bond. Online records show he has district court appearances scheduled for March 16 and 23 and April 7.
Dover said the case is still under investigation and police are looking for additional suspects.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
According records with the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction, Johnson’s first conviction was for larceny from person in 2007.
His probation on that conviction was revoked and in 2009, he went to prison following convictions of driving under the age of 21 consuming a controlled substance and a felony count of possessing stolen goods.
The following year, he again received probation after being convicted of breaking and entering vehicles and larceny after breaking and entering. That probation, too, was revoked when Johnson was later convicted in Mecklenburg County of common law robbery.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.