A Lincolnton man was apprehended in Morganton this month and accused of stealing a firearm in Burke County, Public Safety officers said.
An officer with Morganton Public Safety (MPS) located the suspect’s vehicle just before 9 p.m. Thursday near the Stop & Save store on West Union Street, the agency said.
The driver, Alfred William Wingate Jr., 28, fled the property in his vehicle as the officer approached him, MPS officials said.
Police managed to stop the man’s vehicle less than a mile from the store at the intersection of North College Street and North Terrace Place.
An arrest report said Wingate stepped out of the vehicle and locked it, keeping the keys. However, his phone remained inside the vehicle and contained a contact police needed to call to have the vehicle removed from the scene, the report said.
Police refused to let Wingate retrieve the phone.
He was transported, instead, in handcuffs to the Burke County Magistrate’s Office and charged in the incident. He was also issued warrants.
During a search of the vehicle, officers located a .44 magnum Desert Eagle handgun that they said had been stolen from Burke County.
Police said they located the weapon inside the center console.
Wingate said he bought the gun.
While the Lincoln County man, a resident of 4624 Asbury Church Road, has since been released from the Burke-Catawba jail, he faces a number of charges including one felony count each for possession of a stolen firearm and larceny of a firearm.
Wingate faces additional misdemeanor charges for carrying a concealed weapon and failure to appear and comply.