01/06/10 — Employee charged with theft of tools

View Archive

Employee charged with theft of tools

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on January 6, 2010 1:46 PM

Full Size

Bernard Keith Upchurch

Power tools from a Goldsboro nursing home began showing up at a local pawn shop, launching an investigation that led to charges against Britthaven of Goldsboro's maintenance director, authorities said.

Bernard Keith Upchurch, 48, of Herring Road, Dudley, was jailed under an unsecured bond of $5,000 after an interview late last week with Detective Lt. Carl Lancaster.

Upchurch willingly turned up at the Sheriff's Office annex for an interview with officers. Charges were not officially filed until Tuesday morning.

Tools, including items such as "backpack (air) blowers, pressure washers, routers and drills" showed up at a local pawn shop, which detectives declined to name.

Upchurch faces a charge of felonious conversion of property, which stems from the fact that the tools were stolen, then pawned, the lieutenant said.

At least 11 individual items, worth close to $2,500, were reported stolen by Britthaven employees after an inventory of maintenance supplies, Lancaster said.

Some, but not all of the equipment has been recovered by Sheriff's Office investigators, and returned to the nursing facility, according to a news release.

Britthaven manager Bonnie Ard was not available for comment at the 200-bed nursing home on Tuesday afternoon, a receptionist said.