Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

GOLD HILL — Authorities on Tuesday charged three people with stealing scrap metal from a Gold Hill home and are looking for a fourth person who may be involved.
Property owner Bill Earnhardt told Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputies he’d seen a vehicle take off with the hatch strapped down.
The deputy stopped a vehicle that matched the description Earnhardt gave him. Two women were inside the vehicle and told the officer they were taking and selling the scrap metal, a report said.
Mary Helen Flowers, 29, of the 1300 block of Circle Drive, China Grove, and Ashley Rose Hobson, 31, of the 1800 block of Kluttz Road, Salisbury, are each charged with larceny and possession of stolen goods, both misdemeanors.
The women said Christopher Stewart loaded the items into the vehicle, the report said.
Stewart, 32, of the 13600 block of U.S. 52 in Gold Hill, was charged with misdemeanor larceny. He remains in the Rowan County jail under a $1,500 secured bond.
Hobson remains in the jail under a $2,500 secured bond. Flowers was released after posting a $2,500 secured bond.
Officials are looking for Daniel Flowers, 36, of the 1300 block of Circle Drive, China Grove.
A report said Daniel Flowers ran out of the back door of Stewart’s home as officers pulled into the driveway. The relationship between Mary Flowers and Daniel Flowers is not clear, but officials believe they are husband and wife.
The Gold Hill property used to be Earnhardt Lumber Co., but closed a number of years ago.
Capt. John Sifford said there have been numerous thefts at the property. Some of the items taken in this incident were vehicle batteries, a truck axle, miscellaneous wire and other metal.