By WECT Staff | March 17, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT – Updated March 17 at 5:22 PM
BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Law enforcement officials say a multi-state theft ring sold stolen power tools and other equipment out of a store in Bladen County.
According to a news release from the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, detectives conducted a months-long investigation into an organization that was stealing power tools and other hand tools from Lowe’s Home Improvement and Home Depot stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.
The group would then sell the stolen merchandise through a store in Bladenboro known as Michael’s Treasures, located at 114 West Railroad Street, as well as through various online auction locations.
On Wednesday, officers with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bladenboro Police Department, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, and Home Depot and Lowe’s loss prevention executed a search warrant at the Bladenboro store, and homes in Bladenboro and Harrells.
All three properties were either owned or rented by Michael Brandon Herring, 43, of Bladenboro, the news release stated.
Officers seized multiple items believed to have been stolen from Home Depot and Lowes and sold at the store.
Herring was charged with misdemeanor larceny out of New Hanover County; felony larceny and aid and abet larceny out of Wake County; and a fugitive warrant out of Virginia. He was given a $36,000 bond.
Trevor Chay Tripp, 21, of Tar Heel, was also taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor larceny and shoplifting out of New Hanover County; felony larceny and aid and abet larceny in Wake County; and a fugitive warrant out of Virginia. He was given a $20,000 bond.
A sheriff’s office official said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges and arrests are expected.
“We are very pleased with the outstanding cooperation from so many agencies in this investigation , said Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker. “We could not conduct such a major investigation without the cooperation of numerous law enforcement and retail agencies.”
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