Man on probation charged with 20 felony counts

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 5, 2018

Staff report

ROWAN COUNTY — On Jan. 10, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office began investigating numerous car break-ins in the Mt. Hope Church Road and Hwy. 152 East area between Rockwell and China Grove. The incidents occurred at night and appeared to have been committed by one suspect.

Several new reports of similar crimes occurred over the last two weeks involved victims waking in the mornings to find that their cars had been entered and that purses, wallets, money, tools, clothing, backpacks and, in one case, firearms, were stolen from their vehicles.

Sheriff’s detectives followed several leads in these cases and were able to develop 18-year-old Anthony Mason Cunningham as a suspect in the crimes.

Cunningham was familiar with sheriff’s investigators from other cases he was arrested on in late 2017 that involved similar crimes in the Spencer area.

Cunningham was arrested and charged on these 2017 cases but was given a probationary sentence and released by the court.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Cunningham’s residence on French Lane in Salisbury and served it. They seized evidence linking him to the latest crimes.

On Feb. 2, Cunningham was arrested again and charged with 17 felony counts of breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, two felony counts of larceny and one felony count of larceny of a firearm.

Cunningham was placed in jail under a $50,000 secured bond. The investigation will continue and more charges are possible for Cunningham.