Rockwell man convicted as habitual felon
SALISBURY — Luther Sterling Blakeley was convicted July 7 in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of 18 counts of felony breaking and/or entering a motor vehicle, felony possession of a firearm by convicted felon, two counts of felony larceny of a firearm, felony possession of a weapon of mass death/destruction, felony financial card theft, misdemeanor financial card fraud and two counts of misdemeanor larceny.
Blakeley admitted his status as a habitual felon. Judge Anna Mills Wagoner sentenced him to a minimum of 80 months to a maximum of 108 months in prison.
On Oct. 6-7, 2015, and on Nov. 3, 2015, Blakeley broke into several vehicles located on Graceland Place, Oak Grove Lane, Adrian Road and Trexler Street. He stole various items including an iPod, two firearms, sunglasses and credit cards.
It appears the vehicles were unlocked and video surveillance captured Blakely breaking into cars.
A stolen credit card was used at the Kangaroo gas station in Rockwell and at the Rushco gas station in Salisbury. Video surveillance from Rushco helped to identify Blakeley using a stolen credit card. A search warrant was executed at Blakeley’s residence and some of the stolen items were located.
Blakeley was arrested and stated that he walked around to houses near where he lived. He stated he went through several unlocked vehicles looking for change and things.
Blakeley was previously convicted of felony breaking and/or entering a motor vehicle, felony larceny and felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, among other convictions.
Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said that she appreciated the joint effort of Assistant District Attorney Barrett Poppler and the Rockwell Police Department and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office in holding Blakeley accountable for his criminal conduct.
Cook said it is important for citizens to remember to lock their vehicles and homes to reduce the risk of being victimized.