The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 9, 2012

Authorities arrest one, seeking the public’s help to nab others involved in recent burglary spree

By Carra Higgins
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department has “persons of great interest” connected to a number of Glade Springs and Daniels area burglary cases and are asking for the public’s assistance in finding them.

Those persons, whose names are not being released, are thought to have left those communities and are now in other areas throughout southern West Virginia, Sheriff Steve Tanner said.

Tanner explained that police “saturated” patrols in the communities in which the burglaries were occurring and the incidents “just stopped,” but are now taking place in other areas. Tanner said authorities are basing their conclusion on how the burglaries are executed and what is being stolen, but declined to released that information in order to prevent “copy cat” occurrences.

Tanner said there have been reports that the “persons of great interest” lead “transient lifestyles” and purportedly have recently been walking in various neighborhoods, wooded areas and then knocking on back doors of homes. If someone is home, the suspects have told the resident that their car is broken down and are in need of motor oil, or that they’re lost, and then run away, for example, Tanner said. He asks that anyone who experiences a similar incident from an unknown person or sees a suspicious person in their neighborhood call 911 immediately in order for officers to be dispatched to the area.

“We don’t know who belongs in neighborhoods, but the residents of those neighborhoods do and should watch for anyone acting suspicious,” Tanner commented.

Tanner says that police think two men are executing the burglaries and other people are selling stolen items at pawn shops. Some of the items stolen from the recent home burglaries have been recovered. Anyone selling stolen items are considered an accessory and can also face felony charges, he added. The persons thought to be involved have a criminal history, Tanner said. Police are not currently releasing the names of those individuals thought to have committed the break-ins. 

A man was arrested Tuesday for burglaries that occurred in Oak Hill; however, authorities are working to determine if Joshua Graham, 27, of Crab Orchard could be connected to any of the burglaries in the Glade Springs and Daniels area, Tanner said.

—E-mail: chiggins@register-herald.com