Man faces conspiracy, larceny charges; two others sought in Rowan Sheriff’s Office investigation

Published 11:40 am Thursday, April 8, 2021

SALISBURY — A 35-year-old man faces nearly two dozen criminal charges and two other men remain at large for crimes connected to repeated thefts from a property on Shaver Road, near the Rowan-Stanly county line.

William Jack Daniel Upright, who lives on Red Acres Road in Salisbury, faces charges that include conspiring to commit a felony, multiple counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and multiple counts of felony breaking and entering a building. His bond was set at a combined $70,000. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office says it’s still looking for Michael Ryan Hickey and Gary Wayne Steele on separate charges.

Hickey faces felony breaking and entering and felony larceny charges while Steele faces charges of second-degree trespassing and injuring crops or lands.

The investigation started with a tip from a neighbor about a suspicious vehicle. A woman whose deceased father owned the property told law enforcement officers March 8 that a neighbor saw a suspicious vehicle driving along Shaver Road and people carrying items into the truck while it was parked.

When Rowan County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they found clear signs the house had been broken into, including pairs of gloves and a black ski mask on the ground as well as marks from a door being pried open. A generator and power tools were found removed from an outbuilding. Items were moved out of a house on the Shaver Road property. Old cars on the property looked like they had been rummaged through.

Maj. John Sifford said the Rowan Sheriff’s Office received calls about subsequent incidents, including one involving a blue Dodge Ram truck. The owner of the truck told a detective that Upright, who is known to sell items at the Webb Road Flea Market and other flea markets in the region, borrowed the vehicle because “he needed to move some items around,” Sifford said.

On March 9, a sheriff’s deputy saw a truck on the property; its driver said he was stuck. On March 11 and 12, there were also calls about suspicious vehicles.

Anyone with information about the case and Hickey’s or Steele’s whereabouts can contact detective Jeremy Thomason 704-216-8683 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245