Rowan man charged with ID theft, breaking and entering arrested in High Point

Published 1:44 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By Shavonne Walker

Rowan County investigators charged a local man with a number of offenses, including breaking and entering as well as identity theft, after the victims reported a break-in at their home. The victims said their credit card was used at Walmart, local shoe stores, grocery stores, and to put money on a county inmate’s account, officials said.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Joey Justus with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, five counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, seven counts of attempted obtaining property by false pretenses, 14 counts of identity theft.

The victims provided investigators with a detailed timeline of what items were stolen after a May 17 home break-in, as well as where their credit card was used and the amount spent. The homeowners said they had video surveillance that showed a man enter their home around 11 a.m. and leave around 11:32 a.m.

Investigators went to the Salisbury-area Walmart and Food Lion, as well as the Shoe Dept., Sport Trax/Athlete’s Foot, Hayes Jewelers, Walmart and a Rushco BP gas station in Lexington to obtain surveillance videos. According to department reports, the man tried to sell stolen jewelry to Hayes Jewelers.

Reports said in all of the incidents the suspect was shown on surveillance video driving a blue Honda Accord. On May 24, Davidson County officials located the blue Honda at a residence there. Rowan and Davidson officials encountered Justus driving the vehicle in a residential area. The officers pursued Justus and he drove through a yard, nearly missing the homeowner mowing his lawn. He jumped out of the moving vehicle, which hit a nearby tree, and ran into a wooded area.

As he ran, officials said, he dropped several items. A Davidson County K-9 was called in to track Justus, but was not able to find him after 20 minutes.

Some of the items that Justus dropped were a cigarette lighter, passport, a check, as well as sunglasses and a sunglass case with a pipe and white residue inside. Detectives went to another address that was associated with Justus and met with his girlfriend. She told authorities that Joey Justus gave her several items — a makeup bag, Las Vegas-themed suitcase, a box with clothes, a deck of cards, hair dryer, an Amazon dash button used to order frequently used items. The girlfriend gave investigators consent to search the room they shared at her mother’s house.

Inside the room, investigators found two pairs of Nike shoes in the boxes and a pair of Wolverine men’s work boots. Once the Honda was impounded, investigators found jewelry, an Ozark bag, an HP laptop and a Toshiba laptop, Nike shoes and a shirt. Officials were able to return the jewelry, an iPod and other items to the owners.

On June 4, the girlfriend called authorities to say Justus had stolen her vehicle and he was in Greensboro. She was under the impression he was going to turn himself in to Rowan authorities. On June 13, High Point Police officials notified Rowan officials they had Joey Justus in High Point. He’d been stopped the day before in a stolen Kia Sportage that was taken from Davidson County.

Justus ran when officers tried to arrest him. He was found a short time later lying in a creek bed with a broken ankle. He initially gave officers a fake name. He was issued a $283,500 secured bond in Guilford County where he remains.

He also faces charges from Stokes and Forsyth counties that include driving while license revoked, escaping from a city or county facility, vandalism, hit and run, speeding and possession of stolen goods.

Rowan detectives spent weeks working on the case beginning on May 20 and involving other law enforcement agencies, reports show.