Police: Man steals steaks, caught with marijuana, active warrants

Published 4:28 pm Monday, January 25, 2016

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Police charged a Salisbury man with stealing steaks and other meat from Food Lion after a store manager flagged down an officer in the area. The man was also charged with marijuana possession and had a number of outstanding warrants.

Rochelle Lucas Hamilton, 37, was charged Thursday with misdemeanor larceny; misdemeanor resist, obstruct, delay an officer; misdemeanor possession of marijuana; misdemeanor probation violation; felony grand jury indictment; and misdemeanor failure to appear. The grand jury indictment warrant was for habitual larceny issued in October.

The officer was in the area responding to a complaint about a panhandler when he was flagged down by the manager of the Food Lion at 251 Faith Road just before 7 p.m., a report said.

The manager told the officer a man stole two porterhouse steaks and beef tenderloin from the store and was heading toward Applebee’s restaurant. The officer saw the man walking in that direction at a rapid pace, said Police Capt. Shelia Lingle.

The officer questioned Hamilton, who denied taking anything. The officer asked for consent to search him and found a small amount of marijuana inside his pants pocket.

When the officer asked for his name and birthday, Hamilton gave him a fake name and a date of birth that would’ve made him 17. The officer asked again for his birthday and Hamilton told him he was born in 1997. The officer asked Hamilton how old he was, and he said he was 35 years old.

Another officer arrived on the scene who knew Hamilton from a previous encounter and was able to confirm his identity. Hamilton was taken back to Food Lion, where he was identified as the suspected shoplifter. Police said Hamilton ditched the meat near a parked vehicle.

Hamilton remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond. Hamilton is currently on probation for an August assault on a female and larceny conviction.

He’s also been convicted of breaking and entering vehicles, a number of larceny incidents, traffic infractions, felony possession of schedule II substance, and simple assault.

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