Man accused of stealing lawn service equipment arrested in Gastonia

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office 

A man accused of stealing lawn service equipment in Lincolnton has been arrested in Gastonia, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. 

Police arrested Christopher Brian Bell, 28, of Dallas around 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17 on warrants taken out in Lincoln County. Bell was booked into the Gaston County Jail then transferred to the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center where he is being held without bond. 

According to the sheriff's office, on Jan. 3, 2019 deputies responded a home on Prince Drive in Lincolnton in reference to a burglary. The victim told officers that he had been on vacation and when he returned his building, truck and house had been broken into. The victim runs a lawn care business and a number of items were reported stolen.

Bell and a former employee, Dustin Lee Mullinax, 27, of High Shoals, were developed as suspects in the case and officers discovered that some of the items had been pawned at area pawn shops in Gaston County. All of the stolen property was recovered except for a zero turn mower and a utility trailer, deputies said. 

Dustin Lee Mullinax, 27, of High Shoals and Christopher Brian Bell, 28, of Dallas are charged with two felony counts each of breaking and entering a building, larceny after breaking and entering, conspiracy and possession of stolen goods. They are also charged with one misdemeanor count each of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and larceny. Mullinax was arrested on Jan. 6, 2019 and placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond.