By DEUCE NIVEN
A retired deputy who once lead the Detective Division at the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is accused of stealing cash held as evidence by that agency.
David Gerald Nobles Jr., 51, was arrested Thursday, charged with embezzlement by a public official, Columbus County Detention Center records show.
Nobles is accused of taking $3,500 cash from safe in the evidence room at the sheriff’s office during the time he was in charge of the Detective Division there.
Nobles was booked into the jail at about 4:20 p.m. Thursday, released about 10 minutes later on a $100,000 unsecured bond.
Sheriff Lewis Hatcher commented on the arrest in a statement Thursday morning.
“When discrepancies were discovered in 2015, I requested an independent investigation from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigati
on,” Hatcher said. “This charge is a result of that investigation. As Sheriff, I have the upmost respect for all employees at the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, however I will not allow any person or person’s to interfere with the integrity of this office.”
Sheriff Hatcher, confirming the SBI investigation in October 2015, said that Nobles and former Det. Captain Roy Norris, were the only people with access to the evidence room at the sheriff’s office.
Hatcher Thursday said he can now confirm that Norris, then a civilian employee who assisted logging evidence, was not implicated with any crime.
“Roy Norris was never a subject of this investigation,” Hatcher said.
Norris died last August.
Look for more on this story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.