By Clint Parker
Asheville – An investigation by the NC State Bureau of Investigation involving the alleged theft of a gun by Buncombe County’s Chief Deputy was first announced according to in a press release Saturday (April 25th). The release said, “Chief Deputy Don Eberhardt has been placed on paid administrative leave effective April 24th while the North Carolina SBI conducts an investigation involving him.”
According to the sheriff’s office press release, “Chief Deputy Eberhardt and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office are fully cooperating with the SBI.” However, past that piece of information, the sheriff’s office is not saying what the investigation is about.
“The Sheriff’s Office will have no further comment pending the conclusion of this investigation,” said Aaron Saver, public information officer with the sheriff’s office.
The Asheville Police incident/investigation report states that Eberhart, 50, is the only suspect in the alleged larceny of a gun from Carolina Gun & Gear on Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville. The report says the alleged larceny occurred on April 9th but was not reported until April 20th. The pistol, a 556/Delton/Dri-15, is valued at $500.
In a 2015 Facebook post on the Asheville Police Department’s page, then-Lt. Eberhardt, with the APD, said, “I became an officer because I see the profession as a ministry, a ministry to be a blessing to others. This ministry does not require me to spread or push religious beliefs on others, it simply requires that I be called upon when some else finds themselves in a crisis or a horrific situation.
“The actions that I take, or don’t take, should have a positive impact on the situation. It is extremely important to understand that the badge itself does not make you a respected officer. There are a number of characteristics you must possess and display to reach the true meaning of being a police officer. Police officers today are expected to perform well, beyond just making a physical arrest. The real task in today’s law enforcement profession is leaving the person in a better situation after the encounter than they were before the encounter. Not all situations will permit that to happen, but it is my responsibility to make it happen when and where I can, as best I can.”