The Wilkesboro Police is currently investigating the theft of batteries from a location near Flowers Bakery. A Carl Rose & Sons employee met with Police concerning stolen batteries from a Caterpillar and a Motor Grater. A total of 3 batteries were stolen and were valued at 318 dollars. Also a battery cable was damaged. Upon further inspection of the road equipment, Police found where a door had been tampered with and a red substance that looked like blood. Police found the three stolen batteries at a local business that buys old batteries. The stolen batteries had the same red substance on them that Police found on the equipment. The batteries were returned to Carl Rose & Sons. Police do have the name of a possible suspect, warrants have been issued, and an arrest is pending.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office has received two different reports this week of someone stealing and using someone's Social Security Number. In the first report, the victim reported that he was informed last month that someone was using his Social Security information as Identity Theft. The victim believes someone at his place of employment might have obtained his personal information. Then a second Wilkes County resident reported that someone had used their Social Security number to open a Verizon Wireless account. The victim has no idea who got his number or how. The investigation is still underway. According to the Social Security Administration, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. A person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You may not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment. Protect your Social Security number, do not carry it in your wallet, do not give it out over the phone or Internet to anyone you do not know, and shred all personal papers before throwing them away.
Forget Grandma got run over by a reindeer...in a report filed with the Wilkes Sheriff's Office, it seems someone ran over the reindeer! Sheriff's Deputies were called concerning a vandalism and damage to property at a residence in Ferguson. The victim stated that someone drove a vehicle through their yard and destroyed their Christmas decorations including running over some reindeer. The same vehicle was seen at other times in the same area. Sheriff's Deputies have increased patrols, but no suspects have been named at this time.
The public is invited to visit with Santa Claus on the campus of Wilkes Community College on Sunday, December 15, from 2-4 p.m. His earlier scheduled visit was postponed due to threats of inclement weather. Santa will be at the Waldon Christmas Caboose located on the lower campus near the children’s playground. Children will have the opportunity to get their photo made with Santa and to share their Christmas wishes with him. WCC Rotaract Club will be taking photos for purchase as a club fundraiser or parents may bring their own cameras to use in taking photos. The WCC Rotaract Club is a service club for students that raises money to benefit efforts such as Samaritan’s Kitchen, the Christmas Angel Tree, and coat drives. For additional information on this event or on the Rotaract Club, call 336-838-6173.
According to public health officials, cases of flu in our state have been relatively low so far this season, but are beginning to trend upward. Flu season typically peaks during January and February, and could last as late as May. Complications from flu can be particularly dangerous for high risk groups including infants under 2, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, or immune system problems. Flu vaccination is the most effective treatment against the flu. If you have not gotten your flu vaccine yet this season, it is not too late since flu season has not yet peaked.. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection. Flu vaccine is widely available and protects against the strains of flu circulating this year, including H1N1. Flu vaccine is available in nasal spray and shot form. Contact your physician, pharmacy or the Wilkes County Health Department for a flu shot. To schedule an appointment, please call the Health Department at 651-7450.
This week, DHHS released a statement on the 2013 America's Health Rankings Annual Report. And when it comes to our state--"Although North Carolina's ranking remains steady, it is clear that North Carolina is not where we want to be with regard to our overall health," said Dr. Robin Gary Cummings, acting state health director. Dr. Cummings explained that the state is focused on Medicaid reform which will create a predictable and sustainable system that is focused on delivering better health outcomes for our state's 1.7 million Medicaid recipients. Cummings said the report released this week also focuses on a shortage of health professionals in our state, particularly in rural areas. According to recent statistics, efforts to recruit physicians to underserved areas of the state have brought in a record 160 primary care physicians, psychiatrists and dentists over the past year, surpassing expected estimates for the department's medical placement services initiative.
The American Red Cross reminds everyone to be careful concerning fires this month. Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death. The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000. Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Some fire prevention tips include: Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles; Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed; Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top; and Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, and near sleeping areas. Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays.
Already this week, we have had a report of someone becoming the victim of bank card fraud. In that case, the victim's card number was used in another town to make purchases totaling 300 dollars. Now the Wilkes Sheriff's Office has received another report concerning a bank card. This time the victim said that someone had stolen their debit card and used it to withdraw money from her checking account. The amount of money stolen was 500 dollars. There is a suspect in this most recent case and charges are pending.
The items were taken from an outbuilding. According to the report filed with the Wilkes Sheriff's Office, a property owner in Boomer had some tools stolen from an open shed and from another building that was locked. The stolen property valued at 600 dollars included a leaf blower, a drill kit, a backpack sprayer, toy bulldozer, and archery target. No suspects were listed with the report.
He was seen stuffing merchandise in his clothes and then leaving the store. Store staff at Lowes Home Improvement on Hwy 421 called the Wilkesboro Police regarding a shoplifter being detained at the store. The employees told Police that they observed a white male enter the store and conceal several things in his coat and pants. When he left the store, they stopped him in the parking lot and called Police. A search of the man revealed that 3 of the stolen items had been removed from their anti-theft packaging. So, Stephen Watkins of Millers Creek, was arrested for felony removal of anti-theft device and misdemeanor larceny. The total value of the stolen items was 106 dollars.