Home Crime Man allegedly found with meth in pocket during arrest at Rockingham motel

Man allegedly found with meth in pocket during arrest at Rockingham motel

ROCKINGHAM— A man with an outstanding warrant was allegedly caught with meth at a local motel.

Deputies responded to the Budget Inn in Rockingham around 1:26 a.m. Friday, May 6, after receiving a tip that 45-year-old Gary Jason Thrift was there, according to a press release issued Tuesday.

The first deputy to arrive reportedly saw Thrift walking away from one of the rooms. When Thrift noticed the deputy, he reportedly began walking in the opposite direction.

The deputy reportedly approached Thrift to inform the defendant of an outstanding warrant for arrest. Thrift was reportedly taken into custody without incident.

While patting down Thrift, the deputy reportedly found a cigarette pack in the defendant’s front pocket. Inside: a bag of meth.

Thrift is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of methamphetamine. He was booked into the Richmond County Jail where he is being held on a combined $15,000 secured bond. Thrift is scheduled to appear in court May 19 on the felony drug charge and May 27 on the misdemeanor charge.

Online court records show Thrift has pending misdemeanor charges of breaking and entering and driving with a revoked license.

Thrift has a criminal record dating back to 1995, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety Division of Adult Correction.


In November of that year, Thrift was convicted on three felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny and one count of felony larceny in Chatham County.

In May 1996, Thrift was convicted in Chatham County of breaking and entering, safecracking and safe robbery, and uttering a forged instrument.

Two months later, felony larceny and forgery convictions were added and was given a split sentence, landing him behind bars for three months.

In 1997, he was convicted in Chatham County of one count each of breaking and entering and felony larceny, and records appear to show that the previously combined B&E and larceny charges were separated. His probation on the previous convictions was revoked, resulting in a 16-month incarceration.

In July 1999, Thrift was convicted in Lee County of robbery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm into an occupied property and being a habitual felon, for which he served two years and five months in prison.

Thrift was given probation for his most recent convictions:

  • 2015: driving while impaired in Moore County; two counts of driving with a revoked license in Richmond County
  • 2016: Driving with a revoked license in Richmond County
  • 2017: Driving with a revoked license, possession of an open container of alcohol after consuming in Moore County.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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