More charges for men accused in theft ring
Authorities have added more charges for two Rowan County men, one of whom is on the Rowan Sheriff’s Office Most Wanted list, who are involved in a number of catalytic converter thefts from area businesses that occurred throughout February.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was searching for and has since found Trenton Ray Weast Jr., 21, of Granite Quarry, whose address has also been listed as Ellen Street in Salisbury. He is facing one count of misdemeanor resist, delay, obstruct a public officer; seven counts felony breaking and entering, five counts felony larceny, chop shop activity by theft/fraud, one count misdemeanor larceny, one count misdemeanor injury to personal property, misdemeanor failure to appear. He was placed on the county’s most wanted list more than a week ago.
Michael Lee Upright, 40, who is already in the Rowan County jail, was charged with five counts of felony larceny and one count misdemeanor first-degree trespass.
Both men are described by authorities as being part of a theft ring; multiple people have been charged with breaking into homes, businesses and vehicles throughout the county in December and January. Upright is charged for his alleged involvement in a number battery thefts throughout the county in February.
Investigators say Weast cut and disassembled the catalytic converter from the exhaust system from the East branch of the YMCA in Rockwell, Grace Bible Church in Rockwell, Lyerly Evangelical Church and Nazareth Community Church. Arrest warrants also say Weast was involved in a January break-in at a Mocksville home, a Goodson Road break-in from January where authorities say he took a shotgun, handgun and ammunition from the Salisbury home. A Sherrills Ford Road home was broken into in mid-January and officials say Weast was involved; a number of weapons including rifles, shotguns, ammunition and power tools were taken. A Honeycutt Road man reported the theft of a game console and a 22-inch television from his Salisbury home on Jan. 24. Authorities say Weast was involved in the Honeycutt Road break-in, an arrest warrant said. More homes on Barringer Road, Thompson Road, Hutchins Way, all in Salisbury, were robbed of weapons, power tools, copper wiring and air conditioning units.
Diamond Auto Sales on Mooresville Road was broken into and power tools and three dealer tags were taken, a warrant said, Weast was charged in that incident.
Weast remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $110,000 secured bond.
Arrest warrants say Upright took 56 batteries from Foxwood Golf Course on Potneck Road and 60 batteries, lawn equipment and a generator on another occasion from the golf course. Investigators say Upright was involved in the theft of 24 batteries and copper wire from vehicles at Myers Forest Products, 35 batteries and 30 batteries on another occasion from Spinnaker General Contractors in Mount Ulla.
Upright remains in the Rowan County jail under a $50,000 secured bond, which was added to his previous bond, bringing his total bond to $145,000.