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China Grove man charged with copper theft from area churches, assaulting pregnant girlfriend

A China Grove man remains behind bars after authorities said he took copper downspouts from local churches. He is also charged with assaulting his pregnant then-girlfriend.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Jeremy Alan Jenkins, 31, of the 800 block of North Main Street, with five counts felony larceny, one count misdemeanor assault on a female, battery of an unborn child, felony injuring buildings, simple possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Jenkins was arrested Thursday morning and remains in the Rowan County Detention Center without bond. The is the second arrest in two months for theft of copper material from these churches.

Arrest warrants say Jenkins cut the copper downspouts and guttering from the following between July 29 to Sept. 4:

• St. Marks Lutheran Church, Mooresville Road, Salisbury.

• Salem Lutheran Church, Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury (twice).

• Nazareth Children’s Home, Crescent Road, Rockwell.

• Nazareth Community Church, Crescent Road, Rockwell.

When investigators spoke to Jenkins’ girlfriend at the time about the theft, she told them about an incident on Sept. 12 where he pulled her hair, slammed her down on the concrete and slapped her in the face. Jenkins also had a small amount of marijuana on him along with a grinder and two smoking devices. The total value of the damaged and stolen copper material were $7,520, warrants said.

Rowan authorities charged Nathaniel Lee Lynn of Rockwell in September with the theft of copper downspouts from Salem Lutheran Church, Nazareth Community Church and Nazareth Children’s Home. Lynn remains in the county jail. Jenkins has previous convictions of breaking and entering, assault on a female, communicating threats, domestic criminal trespass, drug possession, driving while license revoked, assault with a deadly weapon, larceny and traffic offenses.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253. Twitter: www.twitter.com/salpostpotts Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shavonne.SalisburyPost.

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