HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating Catawba County Sheriff candidate Jason Reid after an ex-girlfriend accused him of stalking her.
The SBI confirmed to WBTV on Thursday morning that it received a request to investigate Reid from District Attorney Mike Miller, whose jurisdiction includes Lincoln and Cleveland Counties.
"On August 3, 2017, the SBI received a request to investigate an allegation of stalking which may have occurred during the early part of 2017 in Lincolnton, NC," an SBI spokeswoman told WBTV.
The investigation started when a woman who said she had been in a relationship with Reid found a GPS tracking device on her vehicle.
The discovery, which happened nearly a year ago, came after the woman said she had received repeated text messages from Reid describing her current location and, in one instance, a picture of her car parked in a public location.
"I was receiving text messages from him telling me places where I was, which led me to believe that there was something on my phone or on my car," the woman, who WBTV has agreed not to identify given the nature of her allegations, said in an interview.
"The day we found the device, I received a picture message from him of my car," she said. "So that told me there was something on my car and we found the device on the back under the bumper."
The woman's current boyfriend, who she began dating after her relationship with Reid, took the device and reported it to Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter.
The woman told WBTV she has provided the GPS tracking device and evidence of Reid's text messages to the SBI, in addition to sitting for an interview.
It is not clear how the report was passed from Carpenter to Miller. In an email exchange with WBTV regarding a public records requests documenting the information he received about the device, Carpenter said he did not make an official police report documenting the information he received.
Later, after initially refusing to confirm he had received any report regarding the tracking device discovered on the woman's car, an attorney for Carpenter acknowledged he took such a report.
"The complaint was about an unknown device the complaining witness alleged he had found on the car of his girlfriend," the attorney for Carpenter told WBTV.
The woman who found the tracking device on her vehicle said she was unnerved by the incident.
"I don't think that if this happened to me, I don't think I'm the only one that this has happened to," she said, noting that she is concerned what else he might do if elected sheriff.
"He's going to have more power to do more of this and I don't think it's going to stop," she said when asked what she thought would happen if Reid became sheriff.