Authorities have arrested a Stanley man in connection with a theft ring that goes back years and spans the state.
Tim W. Dellinger, 43, of 7624 Oakview Lane is charged with 11 counts of felony possession of stolen property for his involvement in the case, which came to light July 1. He was released from Lincoln County Jail on $50,000 bond Thursday.
Detectives with the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office discovered more than $200,000 worth of stolen goods on land at 393 N. Pilot Knob Road, which is rented by Dellinger and James T. Davis, during a search that lasted all night and into the morning.
After a search of Dellingerâ€™s business, T.W. Dellinger Inc. in Stanley, that amount has grown to $500,000, Detective Lee Keller said Thursday.
â€œThis is not something weâ€™re going to do in a week or two,â€ Keller said. â€œThis is going to take a couple months.â€
The stolen property now sits in two lots at the Sheriffâ€™s Office.
A Sheriffâ€™s Office trailer contains 71 wheel rims, which have been confirmed stolen from Cornelius Trucking, Keller said. Detectives started working that case last year. A hot tub and tires also sit in the trailer.
Forty full-size sofas and 50 chairs stacked on top of each other fill the inside of another trailer.
Another contains three generators and a brand-new 50-inch plasma TV, still in the box. The generators have been confirmed stolen, Keller said.
Rolls of carpet are packed inside a different trailer. The lot numbers are still on the rolls, which are packaged in plastic, and detectives are in the process of tracking that information.
Two other trailers contain more furniture and other assorted items.
Two of the five 53-foot trailers have been confirmed stolen by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Keller said. The Sheriffâ€™s Office and DMV are working together on the status of the other trailers.
One trailer at the time it was stolen from Morganton contained 35,000 pounds of meat. Only some of that remained when detectives found it.
In another lot sit even more items. A generator, skid steer, three trailers, a jet ski and a Freightliner tractor, almost all of which have been confirmed stolen, were found at the 393 N. Pilot Knob Road location.
Two more trailers, a water tank, a skid steer attachment and additional equipment were found at T.W. Dellinger Inc.
The Sheriffâ€™s Office was alerted to the situation July 1 after an employee of a company out of Statesville noticed a skid loader he had reported stolen a couple months ago. While investigating that discovery, deputies and detectives found the other items inside the fenced-in land on Pilot Knob Road. More property was found inside a building.
The goods are believed to have been stolen from all over the state, with the thefts going on for years. Detectives are working with agencies all over the region.
â€œEverything weâ€™ve been able to confirm stolen, weâ€™re contacting the counties it was stolen from and theyâ€™re working with us,â€ he said.
Additional charges could be pending against Dellinger. Keller said other suspects might be involved.
Detectives Tim Johnson, Sally Dellinger and Lester White are working the case, along with other Charlie district officers.by Alice Smith