Friday, April 15, 2011

Break-in suspect tries to move forward after dropped charges

On Thursday, the Observer told the story of Caleb Allen, the 25-year-old police initially charged in a string of south Charlotte “Bonnie and Clyde” break-ins earlier this year.

Police had warned residents of a man-woman duo who drove a red Jeep Cherokee and were responsible for several midday burglaries in upscale homes. Believing Allen (pictured at right) could be the male half of the team, police arrested him in February.

The arrest prompted Allen’s mother, who was convinced of her son’s innocence, to begin her own investigation. She tracked down what she believed to be the infamous red Jeep and even chased it down Interstate 485 as she called police.

The charges against Allen were later dropped, but so were those against two others charged in the case – Anna Lee Hoard, 34, and Justin Ryan Aldrich, 33 – because of problems in the investigation.

The saga of Allen’s arrest, his mother’s quest to clear her son’s name and the complexities of the case were also extensively covered by South Charlotte Weekly.

Hoard and Aldrich were arrested after Concord police caught them in a break-in last month. They posted bond and were released from Cabarrus County jail, but were arrested again this week – this time in Forest Acres, S.C., outside Columbia.

Police there said a man returning home for lunch saw a red Jeep Cherokee in his driveway and then saw the couple speed off.

Readers who commented on Thursday's story online had varying opinions about the case. Some expressed concern about the police’s investigation while others noted Allen’s criminal record. He’s a recovering heroin addict and convicted felon facing multiple drug-related charges.

“He’s no choir boy,” wrote one reader.

Another said people who use drugs will “pay a price for even the association with this practice.”

By the time Allen was jailed following his February arrest, he had been clean for about seven months, he told the Observer.

But his ongoing road to recovery has been a difficult one – one that’s been helped by his Christian faith, he said. Someday, he hopes to join the ministry and help other addicts.

Check out the Observer on Sunday for a follow-up by columnist Peter St. Onge on Allen’s personal struggle to kick the habit and move forward from this recent ordeal.

Today, Hoard and Aldrich are still being held in a S.C. detention center. Aldrich is being detained on a $75,000 bond for a burglary charge. He’s also facing a Horry County, S.C. charge of receiving stolen property, according to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Hoard is also being held on bond of nearly $76,000 bond for burglary and possession of marijuana charges. Authorities also charged her with driving without a license.

--Meghan Cooke

Anna Lee Hoard, 34, and Justin Ryan Aldrich, 33. Photos courtesy of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center


  1. So he didn't break into those homes. He's still a punk who should be locked up. And STOP referring to every dirtbag who's girlfriend tags along on a crime spree "Bonnie & Clyde". Bonnie & Clyde were classy. Rotten, but classy. Why don't we just call them Horace and Doris?

  2. He should be locked up for being a recovering drug addict?

    Also nice that the CO writes a story about how he was falsely accused, yet every day they show pictures of every person who was arrested, even though they are all supposedly "innocent until proven guilty"

  3. Arrests should never be made public. Indictments, yes, convictions, absolutely, but never arrests. Not only does it hamper investigations, it also makes police hungry to announce that they've picked someone up so they'll look like they're doing their job.

    BTW, why not use Disqus to moderate your blog's comments?

  4. Disappointing for the Liberals...

  5. I am so glad they are caught. Those jerks broke into my house and damaged two doors and caused us sleepless nights and cost us money.

  6. "On Thursday, the Observer told the story of Caleb Allen" ... uh, no. The South Charlotte Weekly broke this story a month ago. The Observer didn't credit them. Tara Servatius on WBT AM 1110 talked about this for weeks demanding the police drop the charges. Then the Observer FINALLY does the story, or, steals the story from South Charlotte Weekly and is too petty to credit them? Shame on you, rip off artists.

  7. The kid got hooked up on drugs, he never broke into peoples homes and stole their life. If you think someone should be locked up because they USE to use drugs,you need to get off your high hoarse and seek God in your life to know what it takes for forgiveness. Easy for people to preach when they have only a keyboard to answer to and sign in as anonymous.

  8. I sense some corruption going on in side of the SBI crime lab is the reason i can't get no respond about the drugs that caswell co sheriff dept. sent in why cant we hear or see whats going on with the investigation of the nc DOJ and Roy Cooper why are they the secret of hush hush no news radio or tv is talking about them but they keep talking about the Casey Anthony trial. The situtation of the wrong things they did. Why are we being manipulating with this conspiracy conflict i want to see or hear the progress they are making to bring this to justice is this the reason they can't answer to what i have issues with. Don't no one wants to talk about the investigation. No one wants to talk to me about the drugs result the crime lab never sent back on me. Did caswell co court appointed lawyer sheriff DA judge take advantage of me when you manipulate into taken a plea deal with their conspiracy with the way they did me they were thinking it's over with me guess what i am back
    Thank you
    Matthew coles