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Deputies bust ATV theft ring

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Detective C.J. Horton of the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Offic pushes a recovered all-terrain vehicle to a storage facility at the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Friday, July 20, 2018

TARBORO — The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office made three arrests and recovered several all-terrain vehicles after a string of thefts since summer began.

Anivel Puddy, 25, is charged with larceny, conspiracy and possession of stolen property.

Darrien Gupton, 24, is charged with possession of stolen property.

Damaris Rashon Avent, 21, is charged with breaking and entering, larceny, conspiracy, drug possession and possession of a controlled substance in jail.

The Sheriff's Office began taking calls in mid-May about missing 4-wheelers and lawnmowers. Edgecombe County detectives started working with the Nash County Sheriff's Office to locate the stolen ATVs and mowers, said Capt. Carlos Williams of the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives worked hard and conducted stake-outs to catch the thieves, Williams said.

“We have been setting up checking stations in the area of the larcenies to gather information,” Williams said. "We have received several tips from citizens when they have seen 4-wheelers riding down the road and in fields due to the information we had sent out."

As result, authorities have recovered nine 4-wheelers in the last two weeks, including a tip that lead to detectives from Nash and Edgecombe counties locating four 4-wheelers, a zero-turn lawnmower and a trailer, all of which were stolen from Tarboro.

Dirt bikes and other similar vehicles have been recovered during the operation.

Puddy has a criminal conviction history that includes drug possession, interfering with a monitoring device and breaking and entering. He's also been a victim: In 2012 he was shot several times in Rocky Mount and transported to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, according to archived reports.

Gupton's criminal history includes convictions for carrying a concealed weapon and participating in an affray. He was charged with soliciting criminal gang activity in 2013 and accused of assaulting a juvenile in a local school cafeteria.

Avent has been convicted of breaking and entering and post release revocation.

When police interrupted a break-in at a local residence, Avent ran into the woods. Police couldn't find him but later arrested him at his house.

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