Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 23, 2013

Local burglary, breaking-and-entering investigation falls into place in 15 minutes

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

LASHMEET — A pair of young men who attempted to launch an apparent crime spree on Thursday morning found themselves in handcuffs before noon when Mercer County sheriff’s deputies and officers with the county probation office, by chance, were in the area where the duo started their alleged spree.

“At about 8:15 a.m., Thursday morning, we received a call concerning a suspected burglary in progress at a residence on Old Athens Road,” Deputy E.P. Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said. “The caller said that two white male subjects in a white vehicle had forced entry into the house.

“We were in the Lashmeet area at the time,” Parks said, adding that Lt. J.E. Parks headed for the residence, while he contacted Mercer County 911 to put out a Be On the Lookout for the vehicle and the subjects.

Shortly after the first burglary report, Deputy Parks was paged out to a report of a break in at a beauty salon near the intersection of U.S. Route 19/Route 10 at Lake Shawnee. “I was able to determine that they were wearing gloves because I didn’t pick up anything when I dusted for fingerprints, but I did lift a good shoe print from the door that they kicked in.”

In the meantime, Deputy W.E. Rose, also of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a suspicious white vehicle with North Carolina license plates and two white male subjects in it parked in the Shawnee Baptist Church parking lot.

“Deputies who were in Lashmeet got behind the white car, and conducted a traffic stop,” Parks said. “I had just taken the statement from the owner of the beauty shop, and she had said that the individuals who broke in took an envelop from her freezer. She said the envelop had ‘$40 register,’ written on the outside.

“When I arrived at the vehicle — a 2002, white Nissan Altima with North Carolina license plates — the suspects were in custody,” Parks said. “The envelop with $40 written on it was in the vehicle and so was a piece of door trim from the house on the Old Athens Road. The neighbor who called in the report said they threw the piece of trim in the car when he started walking up to see what they were doing. I took the trim back up to the house and it fit perfectly with the trim that was still at the house.”

The deputies arrested Coty Scott Hall, 20, of Lashmeet and John Brubaker Minick, 20, of North Carolina. Hall bonded out and Minick is being held in Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on $4,000 bond.

“There is a third suspect that we are investigating so the case remains under investigation,” Parks said. He said that Minick was visiting Mercer County at the time. “It was one of those cases where we were all in the same general vicinity and it all fell into place in about 15 minutes,” Parks said.

—  Contact Bill Archer at