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Chickens returned to owner after teen charged in theft

 

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

 

Deputies have charged a western Lincoln County teen with stealing chickens from a neighboring residence Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Kevin Allen Hubbard, 17, of 6570 Deerwood Trail in Vale, faces one misdemeanor count each of larceny and possession of stolen goods.

Rebecca Petrick, of Cat Square Road, reported the incident to deputies on Friday morning, saying someone had stolen 13 of her hens, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Petrick realized her chickens were missing around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a report. A neighbor told her the animals may have been stolen by a resident of Deerwood Trail, deputies said.

Deputies later responded to the suspect’s home to arrest him, and while the teen wasn’t there, they located 11 of the victim’s chickens in a coop on the property.

Hubbard told deputies someone gave him the hens, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Petrick spoke to the Times-News on Friday and said it’s the third time since she’s lived in Vale that someone has accessed her coop but the first time anyone’s ever stolen the chickens.

“It makes me so mad,” she said. “It’s my livelihood.”

Petrick discovered the chickens were missing while rounding up all her farm animals Thursday evening, trying to get them out of the cold and rain, she said.

However, she knew a wild animal couldn’t have snuck its way into her coop because there were no feathers scattered across the area.

“I thought, ‘Didn’t I see them (chickens) all this morning?’ ” she said.

She was also shocked to learn that she knew the suspect and used to tutor him when he was younger.

She believes Hubbard must have been watching her daily routine with her farm animals in order to know when she would be gone from the residence and where she kept her more than 35 chickens.

Petrick has owned most of the hens for more than six years, and after already struggling lately to get them to produce enough eggs to sell, she knows the commotion of recent events we’ll only make it harder for the hens.

“They won’t lay for a while since it’s changed their laying cycle,” she said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, Friday wasn’t the first time the suspect’s had a run-in with the law.

In August, he was convicted of receiving stolen goods in the county, the site showed.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and additional charges may be filed.

Hubbard has also since been released on a $800 secured bond.

As for the recovered chickens, Petrick said they immediately started “talking” and communicating with her “crowing” roosters upon returning home.

“It’s like everybody’s happy again,” she said.

 

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