Truck theft thwarted by armed owner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SALISBURY — Authorities say a Salisbury man caught his neighbor in the act of stealing his truck and held him at gunpoint until officers arrived.
Tuesday morning, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office got a call from James Lambert. He said he was holding someone at gunpoint who had tried to steal his truck. Lambert told deputies he was in his house on Hildebran Road when he heard the truck start up. He said he ran out of the house with a pistol and saw Richard Lee Wright III, 19, also of Hildebran Road, in the driver’s seat of his 1993 Ford Ranger.
According to the Sheriff’s Office report, Lambert ordered Wright to get out of the vehicle and lie down on the ground. Wright obeyed.
When deputies arrived, Lambert said he believed Wright was the one who had broken into his house and stolen a handgun the day before. Wright admitted to the gun theft upon further questioning, according to the report.
Lambert had previously called the Sheriff’s Office on Monday evening to report that a .380 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun had been stolen from his home. He had left for work at 5:45 a.m., returned at 5:45 p.m. and was about to go out for the evening with his wife when he realized the gun was gone.
While looking around the house for it, Lambert said, he noticed that the screen of one window had been turned around, and the blinds appeared to be damaged.
Wright was charged with four felonies — breaking and entering a building, larceny of a firearm, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.
He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $51,000 bond.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Wright was convicted of felony possession of stolen goods in 2010.
In 2012, he was convicted of larceny of firearms, felony breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of a firearm by a felon.