Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

February 16, 2014

City police investigating vehicle break-in and two stolen vehicles

BLUEFIELD — The temporary lull in the severe weather conditions on Friday night gave a person or persons unknown the opportunity to break into a vehicle on Ridgecrest Road in Bluefield and get away with approximately $3,000 worth of video surveillance equipment and tools.

“The owner of the van had gone to the bowling alley that evening and saw that his van had been broken into at between 11:50 p.m. and midnight,” Patrolman J.J. Harris of the Bluefield Police Department said. The van is a 2003 Dodge Caravan, Harris said.

Police are still investigating two vehicle thefts that occurred last weekend in the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday morning. “We think the same suspects were involved in both thefts,” Patrolman K.L. Adams said.

As a result of his investigation, Adams was able to determine that two, white male subjects stole a 2007 Honda Civic from a residence on Walton Avenue at about 4 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8.

“The owner of the vehicle had gone to the grocery store, and carried her groceries in the house without realizing that she left her purse in the vehicle,” Adams said. “When she realized her mistake, she thought that she would just go out the next morning to get her purse. The two men got inside her car, found a spare key and drove to the Walmart in Bluefield, Va.”

Adams watched surveillance video of the two suspects — one male taller than the other — entering the Walmart and walking back to the electronics department where they purchased a an Xbox One, and some other electronics equipment.

“They used her bank card to run up about $1,000 worth of charges,” Adams said. “Both men wore dark hoodies as they entered the store and kept them on their heads when they went to the cashier to pay for the things they got. The sales clerk had to come from behind the desk to show them how to use the bank card.”

Adams said that later in the week, he recovered the bank card and some other material belonging to the victim in a storm drain near the Elizabeth Kee Federal Building in Bluefield. “We hope the public may be able help identify the two suspects,” he said.

The second vehicle, a late model, red Ford Escape, was stolen early Sunday morning, Feb. 9, from a residence on Jefferson Street.

“The suspects gained access to the vehicle and found a spare key,” Adams said. “We have reason to believe that one of the persons in the Escape was injured. There was quite a bit of blood in the SUV when it was recovered.” The Escape was located last Sunday over a steep embankment on the Ada Road. He said the Civic has not yet been located.

Adams warned people not to leave valuables in their vehicles, or to conceal spare keys in the vehicle. “To be safe, you should never leave your vehicle unlocked,” Adams said.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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