Guidance counselor faces shoplifting charge

By: By Corey Friedman -

By Corey Friedman

SOUTHERN PINES — A Hamlet Middle School guidance counselor is accused of stealing housewares and clothing from the Belk department store in Pinecrest Plaza, according to police.

Brooke Stebbins Dawkins, 34, of Fairway Drive, Rockingham, was arrested around 8 p.m. July 1 at the 10205 U.S. 15/501 store on charges of misdemeanor larceny and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Southern Pines police report states.

Officer D. Harris wrote that Dawkins left the store after concealing $208.95 worth of merchandise — measuring cups, a bed skirt, a Keurig coffee holder, a Yankee candle, a khaki shirt and a green valance.

Belk employee Craig Ogden reported the theft to police, Harris wrote. Police said they recovered all the stolen merchandise.

Dawkins has been employed by Richmond County Schools since July 29, 2003 and has worked as a guidance counselor since 2007, district spokeswoman Ashley-Michelle Thublin said Monday.

She first served as a guidance counselor at Mineral Springs Elementary and moved to Hamlet Middle in August 2011. She earns a $44,000 annual salary.

Through Thublin, Superintendent Cindy Goodman said she could not comment on personnel matters.

School officials would not say whether Dawkins is a current employee. The Daily Journal has requested information on her employment status under North Carolina public records laws.

Both the larceny and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges are Class 1 misdemeanors that carry presumptive sentences of up to 45 days of community punishment. Convictions would not result in an active jail sentence for a defendant with no prior criminal record.

Dawkins is scheduled to appear in Moore County District Court on the charges July 28. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Tom Embrey, staff writer for The Pilot of Southern Pines, contributed to this story. Reach Editor Corey Friedman at 910-817-2670 and follow him on Twitter @corey_friedman.