Man convicted in series of thefts

Investigators say he was ringleader
Aug. 29, 2014 @ 08:14 AM

A Lenoir man who investigators call the ringleader in numerous thefts pleaded guilty Thursday in Caldwell Superior Court to seven charges, including five felonies.

When Matthew Charles Minton, 24, of Connelly Springs Road was arrested in November, Caldwell Sheriff Alan Jones called it "the tip of a large network of thefts" that dated from at least April 2013. At least four others have been charged. Minton and his girlfriend, Morgan McKinley Sigmon, then 18, also were wanted by the sheriff's offices in Burke and Catawba counties in connection with several break-ins and thefts from a six-month period in 2013.

Minton is accused of stealing a go-kart and a tow dolley from a home on Collettsville Road in Lenoir on April 6, 2013; stealing a 1996 Suzuki motorcycle from a home in Burke County on June 28, 2013, and wrecking it on Mulberry Creek Road while trying to escape Lenoir police and the N.C. Highway Patrol; breaking into a home on North Main Street in Granite Falls on Sept. 24, 2013, and stealing some clothing and a Cadillac Escalade; and stealing a 2000 Yamaha motorcycle from the basement of a house on Piney Road on Oct. 14, 2013.

Minton and Christopher Coty Richardson, 21, of Hudson also are accused of helping Paul Thomas Marsh Jr., 42, of Collettsville Road hide a restored 1968 Ford Mustang valued at $40,000 that had been stolen Oct. 24 from a home on Collettsville Road. Marsh was charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. That case is still pending, said Lt. Aaron Barlowe of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

In an unrelated case, Richardson pleaded guilty in July to possession of a stolen motor vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle and larceny of a stolen vehicle.

Minton pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, two counts felony possession of stolen goods, misdemeanor reckless driving and driving while license revoked. He was sentenced to nine to 20 months in prison, followed by supervised probation.