RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) — An investigation started from a string of car break-ins has led deputies to a main suspect who has now been arrested and charged.

According to deputies, parts of Rutherford County, including Forest City, Rutherfordton, and Spindale have recently been hit with car break-ins.

Upon further investigation, deputies were able to close in on the main suspect, Christopher Michael Barnes. Deputies said that they found Barnes on Saturday, October 14, and tried to pull him over in Rutherfordton.

Deputies said that during the traffic stop, Barnes stopped his vehicle but would not comply with commands given by deputies.  Eventually, Barnes got back into his vehicle and drove away from deputies. While fleeing from deputies, RCSO K-9 Kilo was injured by the fleeing vehicle.

Barnes led deputies on a vehicle chase into Spindale, where he crashed the vehicle into a man’s carport. Barnes then ran from deputies into a wooded area.

Deputies said that they lost sight of Barnes but shortly after the Rutherford County communications received a call stating a vehicle had just been stolen from a person’s yard.

According to deputies, the stolen vehicle was in close proximity to where they last saw Barnes. Deputies along with K-9 Gitmo then went to Barnes’s home along Walker Lake Road in Forest City and found the stolen vehicle.

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K9 Gitmo tracked Barnes from the stolen vehicle to his home where deputies found him trying to leave his home. Barnes was then arrested and taken to Rutherford Regional where he was treated and released into the Sheriff’s Office custody.

Barnes was charged with multiple felony charges and is being held at the Rutherford County Detention Facility under a $390,000 secured bond as well as a parole hold.  

K-9 Kilo was treated for his injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.