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Cleveland teenager accused of stealing guns

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
CLEVELAND – Not long after a Rowan deputy offered an 18-year-old convicted felon a ride Wednesday evening, the teenager was back in handcuffs.
Richard Lee Wright III, of Hildebrand Road, was stopped by Deputy J.M. Huffman about 5 p.m.
A break-in had been reported earlier Wednesday when a homeowner awoke to find several firearms missing from a gun case in his Barber Junction Road home.
Another resident later phoned authorities and said the teenager rang the doorbell and tried to get the door open, an arrest report said.
Wright was carrying a large green duffle bag on his back when Huffman caught up with him, the report said.
The teenager was walking down Old U.S. 70.
Huffman asked Wright if he was OK and if he could give him a ride.Wright agreed, but stopped short when Huffman said he would have to check his bag for weapons, under the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office policy.”Well, never mind,” Wright said, according to an arrest report. “I’ll walk.”
Wright later confessed that he had something in the bag that was illegal, the report said.
Huffman transported him to the Barber Junction Road home. It was about a mile away.
Deputies said Wright cooperated with officers, showing them where some of the other weapons were hidden.
An incident report said three single-shot pistols with scopes, two 12-gauge semi-automatic shotguns, a semi-automatic rifle with a scope, a double-barrel shotgun and a cross bow with a scope were taken from the home.
Two single-shot pistols and a Remington 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun were recovered.
The report did not indicate if the other firearms were expected to be recovered.
Wright was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, three counts of felony larceny of a firearm and felony possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to the Corrections’ Department, he was convicted of felony possession of stolen goods in July 2010.
Wright remained in jail Thursday under a $50,000 bond.
The firearms were photographed and given back to the homeowner.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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