CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- A 23-year-old man has been charged with slashing the tires of 47 county owned and personal vehicles parked at the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office and Human and Health Services Building in Lenoir Monday morning.
Deputies responded to a call at 10 p.m. Sunday night to Carlton Couto's home.
Couto reportedly went to the Sheriff's Office and Health and Human Services Building and slashed the tires of 35 county owned vehicles and 12 personal vehicles with a knife, according to deputies. Only one vehicle did not have all four tires slashed and two of the vehicles also had rock damages to windows.
A deputy found the damages to the vehicles around 3:48 a.m Monday and called Lenoir Police. As the Lenoir officer arrived at the scene, he and another county deputy reported found Cuoto sitting outside a building in the 2400 block of Morganton Boulevard with marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his possession.
As Couto was being charged with the drug offenses, officers began viewing the security camera video of the parking lot. Deputies say it was later determined that Couto fit the description, both personally and by clothing, of the person seen on the tape cutting the tires and damaging the vehicles in the two parking lots.
Deputies say the knife used in the damage has not been recovered at this time.
Couto, of Lenoir, is charged with 47 counts of injury to personal property, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Couto is being held under a $70,000 bond in the Caldwell County Detention Center.