FROM STAFF REPORTS

Two men have been charged with stealing equipment valued at $40,000 from Hoover’s Lawn & Garden near Statesville.

Chino Smith
James Lahargoue

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrests of James Matthew Lahargoue, 36, and Chino Steven Smith, 42, in a news release.

On Thursday, April 9, the owner of Hoover’s Lawn & Garden filed a reported the theft of several commercial lawn mowers from the business.

ICSO deputies and detectives responded to the business at 2005 Amity Hill Road, Statesville, and gathered evidence showing two males entered the property and then stole four lawn mowers, two generators, and a small battery charger, Campbell said.

Detectives spokes with neighbors and searched the wooded area near the business, where they located three of the four stolen lawn mowers, according to the news release.

After analyzing all of the evidence from the business and from witness statements, detectives identified Lahargoue and Smith as the two suspects, the sheriff said. Detectives obtained numerous felony arrest warrants for the men.

On Thursday April 9, Lahargoue, was arrested without incident and charged with Felony Attempted Breaking and or Entering to a Building, Felony Conspire to Attempted Breaking and or Entering to a Building, three counts of Felony Larceny, Conspire to Commit Felony Larceny, Misdemeanor Larceny, and Misdemeanor First-Degree Trespassing. He was taken before Magistrate Chambers, who issued a $50,000 secured bond on these charges.

On Friday, April 10, ICSO Warrant Squad deputies observed Smith operating a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta on Garner Bagnal Boulevard in Statesville. The deputies attempted to stop the vehicle; however the driver refused to stop, according to the sheriff.

The pursued the vehicle to Business Park Road, where Smith pulled to the side of the road and was taken into custody without further incident.

Smith was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center, where he was served with warrants for Felony Fleeing to Elude, Felony Attempted Breaking and/or Entering to a Building, Felony Conspire to Attempted Breaking and or Entering to a Building, three counts of Felony Larceny, Conspire to Commit Felony Larceny, Misdemeanor Larceny, Misdemeanor First-Degree Trespassing and traffic offenses. He received a $75,000 secured bond from Magistrate Thompson.

After Smith’s arrest, detectives obtained a search warrant for 1202 Brown Summit Avenue in Statesville. The detectives located and recovered the stolen zero-turn lawn mower and battery charger, Campbell said.

Detectives recovered all of the items reported stolen from Hoover’s Lawn and Garden.

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