The following is information from the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office
On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, a concerned citizen was traveling on Wilkesboro Highway when they saw a U-Haul truck parked on the side of the roadway just before 3 a.m. Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to the area. They located a lock which had been cut off a gate at a business. During a search of the business Deputies located locks cut to equipment which was on the business display lot, and it appeared someone was trying to steal the property.
Deputies began a search of the area. They located a tandem axel U-Haul trailer sitting on the shoulder of the road on Snow Creek Road. It was later confirmed both the truck, and trailer were stolen from a U-Haul lot in Hickory. Patrol Deputies, Detectives, several Canine Units, and a drone worked for several hours in an attempt to locate the suspects and evidence connected to the crime. As a result of these searches several items of evidence was located in a wooded area.Detectives began to check various businesses and other locations where they found video of the suspect driving the U-Haul truck. They also learned the suspects had stopped at a convenience store on Sullivan Road to buy gas, and a drink earlier in the morning. Based on the evidence collected from the scene, the wooded areas, and evidence collected from the U-Haul, 24-year old Robert Vaughn Pippen of Taylorsville was developed as a suspect.
During the course of the investigation Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Detectives learned Pippin is currently on probation, and he had reported to their office after this incident. Detectives were able to develop a second suspect, Justin Dennis Lynch. It was additionally learned Lynch had numerous outstanding warrants in Burke and Catawba Counties. Detectives obtained arrest warrants for Robert Vaughn Pippin. Pippin was arrested by the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office. He was then turned over to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office for service of the outstanding warrants. Pippin was interviewed by Detectives and gave a statement. Detectives learned that Justin Dennis Lynch,age 25 of Conover was possibly staying in the Red Roof Inn Motel in Hickory to avoid being located on outstanding warrants. Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Detectives with the assistance of the Hickory Police Department were able to locate Lynch and arrest him. Lynch also gave a statement to Detectives.
This investigation is still on going. It is possible other charges will be filed. Information has been shared with Hickory Police Department, and Statesville Police Department as to the suspect’s possible involvement in crimes in their jurisdictions.
Robert Vaughn Pippen was charged with: Attempted Felony Larceny, First Degree Trespass, and Injury to Personal Property. Pippen was issued a 7,500.00 dollar secured bond by Magistrate T. Thompson.Justin Dennis Lynch was charged with: Attempted Felony Larceny, First Degree Trespass and Injury to Personal Property. Lynch was issued a 5,000.00 dollar secured bond set by Magistrate D. Sanders. Lynch had additional charges pending for two counts of Felony Possession of Stolen Property in Catawba County and received a bond of $8,000.00 dollars secured set by Magistrate D. Sanders. Lynch also had a failure to appear in court warrant for Felony Larceny, First Degree Trespass, and Injury to Personal Property. The bond was pre-set by a Judge for $14,000.00. Lynch had an additions failure to appear in court warrant from Burke County for Felony Larceny with a pre-set bond of $20,000.00 set by a Judge.