Two charged with theft of appliances from new home sites; morning shooting puts schools on lockdown is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

New Hanover County

Elvis Abraham Romero
Elvis Abraham Romero

Two men face several felony charges in connection with a ring of new home construction larcenies.

Jose Guillermo Leiva-Galvan, 30,  and Elvis Abraham Romero, 45, were charged with more than 40 felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with multiple larcenies that began in August 2015, according to New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer.

The arrests were made following a six-month investigation into reports about appliances being stolen from unoccupied new-home constructions, Brewer said. Detectives received more than 40 reports of larceny from the new constructions from five different construction companies.

Based on witness information and surveillance, detectives were able to track down the suspects, Brewer said. More than $10,000 in stolen property has been recovered by detectives. The investigation is ongoing.

Jose Guillermo Leiva-Galvan
Jose Guillermo Leiva-Galvan

Leiva-Galvan was arrested on Feb. 24 and charged with 49 felony charges and 49 misdemeanor charges, including breaking or entering, larceny after breaking and entering and obtaining property by false pretense, Brewer said. He was booked at the New Hanover County  Jail under a $361,000 secured bond.

Romero was arrested Wednesday, on 46 felony charges and 46 misdemeanor charges, including breaking or entering, larceny after breaking or entering, and felony conspiracy. He was booked without bond.


Detectives with the Wilmington Police Department are investigating three reports of gunfire Wednesday, two of which happened on the same block within hours of each other.

A ShotSpotter alert was activated in the area of the 1500 block of South 11th Street at about 11:41 a.m. Wednesday, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay. Witnesses reported that the victim got out of a vehicle and passed a man on the sidewalk, who then turned and fired shots.

Both the victim and the suspect ran from the scene, Lindsay said. The suspect is described as a black male who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He wore a grey shirt, black pants and boots at the time of the shooting. The incident put a school and pre-school under a lockdown for about 30 minutes.

The second report of gunfire in the 1500 block of South 11th Street came in at about 4:25 p.m. Wednesday. The victim reported he was sitting on the front porch of the home when a suspect fired shots at him, Lindsay said.

Later that night, police responded to another ShotSpotter alert in the 1100 block of South 7th Street just before 9:30 p.m., Lindsay said. Officers found shell casings on the sidewalk and roadway, but did not find any suspects.

There were no reports of injuries or property damage in each of the shootings. The police department is investigating to see if these incidents are related, Lindsay said.

Brunswick County

This photograph is similar to the tractor taken from a Shallotte construction site. Photo courtesy of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.
This photograph is similar to the tractor taken from a Shallotte construction site. Photo courtesy of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a larceny of a tractor.

A tractor was taken from a construction site at 5101 Ocean Highway West in Shallotte sometime between 5:45 p.m. Wednesday and 6:45 a.m. Thursday, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Emily Flax.

The tractor is described as a 1991 Ford 3930 tractor that is blue and white with an amber beacon light on top. Detectives are advising businesses and construction sites to use caution and ensure that on-site equipment is secure, Flax said.

The sheriff’s office is seeking the community’s assistance in locating the stolen tractor. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office at 910-253-2777 or dial 911.