Report: Suspect Sold Stolen Property To Undercover Cop

A larceny suspect was nabbed by law enforcement officers over-the-weekend after he reportedly sold a stolen zero turn lawnmower to an undercover officer.

On May 22nd, a 29 year-old Newton Grove man reported to Johnston County deputies that someone had stolen an Exmark mower from his residence on Highway 701 near the Sampson County line. Shortly after reporting the theft to law enforcement, the victim posted on social media about the theft.  An acquaintance alerted the victim they had just saw a listing for an identical mower on the Letgo app.

The victim alerted deputies who contacted the seller, and posing as a buyer, arranged a meeting Saturday on the pretense of purchasing the mower.  Authorities allege 51 year-old Charles Lee Pingley of Prince Street, Dunn showed up at the meeting location with the stolen mower.

Pingley was charged with felony larceny and misdemeanor possession of stolen property.  Pingley was confined in the Johnston County Jail on a $25,000 secured bond.

The mower was returned to its owner.