The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 29, 2013

Oak Hill police investigating home invasion, fire at depot

Oak Hill police are still investigating a home invasion on Burholder Street Sunday and a fire that was set intentionally at the Oak Hill depot, officials reported Monday.

Police believe the same person may be responsible for both incidents, but no arrests had been made Monday evening, police said.

Trooper C.L. Mollohan, who responded to the home invasion, said that forensics experts have fingerprinted the house where an unknown male entered Sunday.

“The resident was home when it happened, and she scared them off,” Mollohan reported.

He said the breaking and entering followed a pattern that is becoming more and more common among drug abusers in the county.

“They’ll go and knock on a door, and if nobody answers real quick, they’ll kick the door,” he said.

In the Burholder Street case, the female resident of the home had heard the knock and was on her way to answer the door when the suspect entered.

“They kind of met there in the kitchen and scared one another,” he added.

The man ran without getting anything, said the trooper.

Mollohan said chances of violence are increased in burglary situations when the homeonwners are at home when the suspects enter.

There are no “definitive” strategies for residents to prevent burglars from entering their homes when they’re present, he said.

“These guys are so hopped up on pills most of the time, they just don’t know what the heck they’re doing,” he advised. “There’s nothing that’s going to stop somebody that’s in that state of mind, other than you meeting them at the door.”

He said dogs — regardless of their size — are often a deterrent to burglars since their barks are sometimes enough to discourage someone from entering.

Although Oak Hill Police Depatment officers arrested a suspect during their investigation of the Oak Hill depot burning, the suspect responsible for the burning had not been arrested Monday afternoon, according to Mollohan.

The depot was set on fire Sunday, but minimal damage was done, said Mollohan.

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