Hudson man found guilty of multiple property crimes

LENOIR, NC (August 14, 2017)...A Hudson man will spend at least seven years in prison after he was found guilty of multiple property crimes by a Caldwell County jury on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.

Thomas Victor Rinehart Jr., 46, was sentenced to serve an active prison term of seven to nine years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, at the conclusion of a two-day trial.

Rinehart’s sentence was enhanced by his status as a habitual felon, which includes prior felony convictions for breaking and entering a motor vehicle, sell or delivery of marijuana and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for use or storage of a controlled substance. Those offenses occurred in Caldwell County between 1989 and 2008.

Between July 4-10, 2015, Rinehart and a co-defendant, Jason Richard Setser, broke into a rental  home on Mount Hermon Road owned by a Burke County couple. The men took items from the home, including antique furniture, electronics, light fixtures and plumbing pipes. They caused extensive damage to the home.

Detectives with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation that led them throughout Caldwell County and resulted in several of the stolen items being found in the Lick Mountain area. Witnesses described items being discarded by the two men and took detectives to a wooded area where the items were stashed. A gas fireplace unit, audio speakers and antique sewing machine were returned to the property owners.

Setser already has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the crimes and currently is in custody.

Det. Ed. Morgan was the lead investigator for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer C. Mathews prosecuted the case for the State of North Carolina.