Man accused of preying on unlocked vehicles

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 15, 2011

By Emily Ford
Kacey Wayne Adams didnít have to smash windows or break into vehicles to steal guns, cell phones, tools, cash and more, he told authorities.
He just opened the unlocked car doors and helped himself, according to the Rowan County Sheriffís Office.
Adams, 31, of 13330 N.C. 49 in Gold Hill, faces 29 charges mostly related to thefts from vehicles, including stealing from several cars parked Jan. 1 at Cripple Creek Roadhouse and others parked Jan. 9 at First Baptist Church of Gold Hill during Sunday services.
More charges are pending as the investigation continues, according to Sheriffís Detective Carl Dangerfield.
Adams is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center under $178,000 secured bond. Dangerfield described him as ěextremely cooperative.î
The married father of four was arrested Friday afternoon during a traffic stop on Stokes Ferry Road. His wife and 18-month-old child were in the car.
Adams told authorities their other children are in foster care. He has ěan admitted drug habit ó pills and cocaine,î Dangerfield said.
Late Saturday afternoon, Adams led authorities to a friendís house, where he had stashed items stolen from cars parked at First Baptist Church of Gold Hill, Dangerfield said.
Authorities have recovered nothing yet from vehicles at the Cripple Creek Roadhouse.
Dangerfield said he hoped to return two guns and three cell phones today to church members and speak to the congregation during the 11 a.m. service.
ěI want to update them on the investigation and give them a vote of confidence,î he said.
Dangerfield said he would also share Crimestoppers tips with the congregation.
ěEvery single car was unlocked,î Dangerfield said. ěHe says thatís all he ever does.î
Authorities from three counties worked together to apprehend Adams, who Dangerfield said has a lengthy criminal record and has been in and out of jail since he was 16.
His convictions consist of nonviolent crimes, mostly larceny and fraud, all committed in Rowan and surrounding counties, Dangerfield said.
Surveillance cameras at First Baptist Church of Gold Hill captured the image of a green Chevy Blazer pulling into the parking lot Jan. 9 just before the larcenies occurred.
Stanly County authorities had similar video showing the same vehicle at the scene of another crime, Dangerfield said.
Authorities began narrowing in on Adams.
ěHis vehicle was known to be a green Blazer,î Dangerfield said.
A camera at a New London ATM captured an image of Adams using a credit card stolen from a car at the Cripple Creek Roadhouse, Dangerfield said.
ěAll the crimes were happening about the same time,î he said. ěWe got his car on video and then we started talking with Stanly and Davidson ó his name was coming up all over the place.î
Authorities learned that Adams and his wife and child were staying at a motel in New London, Dangerfield said. On Friday, Stanly County authorities had him under surveillance while Dangerfield drew a search warrant for the motel room.
But before Dangerfield could execute the warrant, Adams and his family left the motel.
Stanly authorities followed in unmarked cars while Rowan deputies set up a traffic stop on Stokes Ferry Road.
Rowan deputies stopped him without incident at 2 p.m. and served a number of outstanding warrants for his arrest from several jurisdictions.
One of the 29 charges against Adams is misdemeanor child abuse from a previous incident in Stanly County. His 18-month-old during Fridayís arrest was secured in a carseat, Dangerfield said.
Of the 29 charges, six were generated in Rowan County. The majority came from Kannapolis, Concord and Cabarrus County, Dangerfield said.
Stanly and Davidson counties continue their investigations as well, he said. Rowan authorities will sit down Tuesday with officers from the other counties to compare notes, he said.
ěThis is a good example of collaborative work on an investigation,î he said.
Adams typically sold the items he had stolen to pawn shops or individuals, Dangerfield said.
Adams said he was not aware of the surveillance cameras filming the parking lot at First Baptist Church of Gold Hill, according to Dangerfield.
The church installed the cameras after a rash of thefts over several months, including air conditioners and catalytic converters, Dangerfield said.
ěThey have been victimized several times,î he said.
Adams told authorities he would have skipped the church if heíd known how many thefts had already occurred there.
Charges include 10 counts of misdemeanor or felony larceny, seven counts of breaking and entering a vehicle, two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, one count of obtaining a financial transaction card, one count of larceny of a firearm, one count of possession of a controlled substance schedule III, four counts of failure to appear in court, one count of habitual felon, one count of possessing stolen goods and one count of misdemeanor child abuse.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.