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B&E suspects nabbed

WINTON – A pair of Northampton County men stand charged in neighboring Hertford County for their alleged involvement with a felony breaking-and-entering case.

Chad Timberlake of Rich Square and Michael Stuhr of Lasker were arrested February 8 by Northampton Sheriff’s deputies and turned over to Hertford County authorities.

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said both men were charged with three felonies – breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods.

Each was placed under a $15,000 bond and made their initial appearance earlier this week in Hertford County District Court.

According to the arrest report filed by Hertford County Chief Deputy Will Liverman, the victim in the breaking and entering case was not at home – a residence located off NC 561 near Tri-County Airport – when the alleged crime occurred.

The victim – calling at 7:57 a.m. on Feb. 8 to report the crime – said that access to the residence was made by breaking out a front window. Items taken from the residence included a Whirlpool washing machine and dryer, and several boxes of floor tile. Those items had a combined value of $3,500.

“The victim told me that a friend had called to say they saw a white van backed up to the back door of the victim’s residence,” Liverman stated in his report. “The victim further stated that they contacted a relative who lived nearby and that individual drove to the victim’s residence at which time they noticed a white van being operated by Michael Stuhr.”

The relative followed the van to Rich Square where it stopped at Timberlake’s home.

“At that time I contacted the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office to advise them of the situation,” Liverman’s report stated. (Northampton) Sheriff (Jack) Smith advised he was aware of Stuhr and Timberlake and had dispatched deputies to their homes.”

A short time later, Northampton deputies performed a traffic stop on the van driven by Stuhr. However, the items reportedly stolen, as described by the victim, were not found in the van.

Liverman said he met Northampton Sheriff’s Investigator Alan Roye at Timberlake’s residence in Rich Square. After being granted permission by Timberlake to search his home, the two lawmen noticed a Whirlpool washer and dryer. The boxes of floor tiles were also noted to be inside Timberlake’s residence.

“I noticed that the water supply lines to the washing machine had been cut. This matched the water supply lines at the victim’s residence that had also been cut,” Liverman said in his report.

Liverman added that he took photos of the washer/dryer and showed them to the victim, who identified both as their property.

In a written statement by Timberlake, he alleged that Stuhr had arrived at his residence sometimes between 5 and 6 a.m. on Feb. 8 and that he had purchased the washer/dryer from Stuhr for $500.

Liverman, joined by Hertford County Sheriff’s Investigator Tom Helms, went to the Northampton Sheriff’s Office in Jackson to speak to Stuhr, but noted that “he didn’t wish to speak with us.”

At that point, Liverman obtained arrest warrants for Timberlake and Stuhr and they were transported to Winton.

“This is a perfect example of how law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions work together to solve crimes,” said Sheriff Hayes. “I thank Sheriff Smith and his officers over in Northampton for their help in this case as well as the work of Chief Liverman.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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