LUMBERTON — Weeks after vandals caused more than $100,000 damage to a Lumberton auction house, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are still seeking information about a fire that destroyed two cars on the property, which is owned by a candidate for the county Board of Commissioners.
To aid with that effort, the owner of the property, Lloyd “Mickey” Meekins, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever crashed two 30,000-pound pieces of farm equipment into an auction house at Lloyd Meekins and Son Auction Co. on March 11 and the person who set fire to a cinder block and metal carport on the N.C. 211 East property on March 21.
“We feel like they’re related,” said Randall Graham, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
The Allenton and East Howellsville fire departments responded to the blaze at about 2:30 a.m. on the March 21. Two vehicles under the carport, a 2011 truck and a 1984 truck, were destroyed by the time firefighters arrived.
“The fire was not electrical or accidental,” according to a statement from sheriff’s Lt. Brian Duckworth, an arson investigator.
About $50,000 to $60,000 in damage was done to the two vehicles, the carport, a trailer and a 1998 boat on the trailer, the statement said.
On March 11, a log skidder and three-wheel agricultural sprayer, valued at a total of $60,000, were used to crash into a metal auction house on the property, damaging the building’s 18-foot-tall wall.
Meekins and his wife, Debbie, have said they do not think the vandalism is related to Meekins’ candidacy.
Meekins is one of three Democrats seeking the District 6 seat on the county Board of Commissioners in the May 6 primary, joining Brenda Wilkins-Bullard and Ray Cox. The seat is held by Republican David Edge, who did file for re-election but is unopposed in the primary.
Anyone with information should call Lt. Mark McMillian or Lt. Brian Duckworth at the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3100 or St. Pauls Crime Stoppers at 910-865-8477.