The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is crediting good leads and police work in the apprehension of a suspected battery thief in western Lincoln County.
Helen Elizabeth Dibari, 26, of 8402 Highway 10 South in Lawndale, was charged Aug. 10 with four felony counts each of larceny and possession of stolen goods. She was also charged with one misdemeanor count of larceny for her alleged part in the theft of 14 batteries that were stolen from farm trucks, tractors and church buses.
Between July 25 and Aug. 1, a battery was stolen from a church bus that was parked behind Mount Vernon Baptist Church. On Aug. 2, a report was filed in connection with four batteries that were taken from the 7400 block of Reeps Grove Church Road, two having been taken from two trucks and the additional two being stolen from farm tractors. Another report was filed Aug. 3 in connection with seven batteries stolen from the 1900 block of North Brook Number Three School Road. Deputies also investigated a report of batteries being stolen out of two trucks belonging to Houser Transport on Sam Houser Road. It is believed that these thefts also took place on the night of Aug. 3.
During the time of the investigation, deputy Jason Counts noticed a suspicious vehicle at one of the scenes that later left the scene. Counts and Sgt. S. Pippen ran the license plate and checked the location to which the vehicle was registered. Acting on the suspicious vehicle and a tip that the suspect planned to commit additional battery thefts, detective Jon Propst set up surveillance on Saturday.
Dibari was arrested in the early morning hours on Sunday and confessed to the battery thefts, according to deputies. She additionally implicated another suspect who is currently being held in the Burke County detention center for a failure to appear warrant who will be charged in connection to the thefts in Lincoln County.
Dibari was placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center for processing, then released on a $12,500 secured bond.
Sheriff David Carpenter had nothing but high praise for the work that led to the arrest.
“Many cases were cleared as a result of an observant patrol officer and the hard work of Detective Propst,” Carpenter said. “I firmly believe if the information provided by the officer had not been obtained then the cases could have gone unsolved or taken much longer to be solved.”