Investigators seize items from driver’s shop in Mooresville

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators seized race cars and other items from NASCAR driver Mike Harmon’s Mooresville shop they believe belong to competitor Jennifer Jo Cobb. The two have been embroiled in a dispute over equipment for weeks.
Local officials initially charged Harmon, 59, with larceny and breaking and entering a motor vehicle. Harmon, a driver for the Camping Word Truck Series, is accused of the theft of a 53-foot race car hauler belonging to JJC Racing. Cobb also races in the Camping World Truck Series.
The Rowan Sheriff’s Office, assisted by Mooresville Police Department and the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles served a search warrant at Harmon’s Loma Hill Court shop where they seized three vehicles, including two race cars and a race truck. Investigators also seized four race trucks from a storage facility in the 3500 block of Mount Pleasant Road, in Sherrills Ford.
The investigation is ongoing and investigators will confer with the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is complete.
Harmon maintains his innocence and claims no involvement in the hauler theft. Rowan investigators say he acknowledged he knew the location of the trailer and promised to return it May 14. The trailer still has not been returned. Harmon was charged May 19 with felony obstructing justice. Investigators have already seized Harmon’s cell phone with the hopes to determine if he used it to send text messages, images and emails to anyone regarding the theft of the hauler.
Harmon’s girlfriend, Sheila Rae Rice, 38, was also charged in connection with the theft. A witness to the hauler theft identified someone investigators believe is Rice, also known as Shelia Cordell, move a tractor trailer in order to steal the hauler.
Cobb’s former business partner, David E. Novak, 45, of Ilinois, was charged a week ago for his involvement.
Novak and Cobb have disputed over who was rightful owner of the hauler and other racing equipment. They parted ways in December and remain in litigation. Harmon has said he is in the middle of the quarrel because he helped set up the joint venture between Cobb and Novak in 2010. Harmon said he helped Novak retrieve the trailer from Cobb in December and it was taken to a site in Denver, N.C.
In January, Cobb said she took the trailer back and brought it to her shop because she was the rightful owner. She’s been using it ever since.
An evidence inventory report lists two Dodge race trucks, two Chevrolet race trucks, a Ford race truck, and two race cars — one a Dodge and the other a Chevrolet.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: Facebook: