Cops catch trio breaking into business

A tip from a concerned citizen helped police catch thieves in the act Monday night in Newton.

Newton Police responded to Hickory House Furniture at about 9:45 p.m. Monday after a caller reported a suspicious person being dropped off at the business.

When officers arrived, they observed lights and noises coming from inside the business.

After officers established a perimeter around the building and called for back-up, two men ran from the back of the building. A Newton police officer caught and arrested Sean Christopher Blankenship, 41, of Hickory, but the second man escaped.

Officers quickly learned that the second man, Eli Daniel Larue, traveled to a residence on West 27th Street in Newton.

Cops caught Larue and a female accomplice, Crystal Dawn Beard, at the residence, said Newton Police Chief Don Brown.

Blankenship was charged with breaking and entering and possession of burglary tools. He is in the Catawba County Detention Center with his bond set at $25,000.

Larue was charged with breaking and entering and is being held on a $15,000 secured bond.

Beard was charged with aiding and abetting breaking and entering and is being held on a 5,000 secured bond.

Brown said additional arrests are pending, and he acknowledged the observant caller who helped tip officers to the crime.

“Anytime anyone sees anything that they would consider suspicious or something that doesn’t seem right, please call us,” Brown said. “We would always rather get a call and there be nothing there than someone commits a crime, we get nothing and we have nothing to go off of."