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Adrian man arrested on grand larceny charges after allegedly stealing vehicles

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested last week after allegedly taking several vehicles earlier this year without each owner’s permission.

Scottie Hinchman, 41, of Adrian, was arrested Thursday, Oct. 29 on two counts of grand larceny, a felony, and one count of unlawful taking of a vehicle, a misdemeanor.

The string of incidents allegedly occurred between December 2019 and April 2020, according to several criminal complaints filed in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office by Cpl. Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and Trooper J.S. Tonkin with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

The most recent complaint, filed by Gordon, alleges that on April 14, 2020, a woman reported that her vehicle was allegedly stolen by Hinchman, whom she identified as a family friend. The victim said Hinchman had stayed at her residence in Buckhannon for approximately three days prior to the alleged theft of the vehicle.

She said she’d noticed her keys were missing the first day Hinchman arrived at her residence, but she thought she had accidentally misplaced them, the file says.

However, on the afternoon of April 14 at about 1:30 p.m., Hinchman allegedly left the residence in the woman’s 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara, which was valued at approximately $4,000.

According to the report, Hinchman had not returned the vehicle as of 11 p.m. on April 15, 2020, the following day. The complaint says that Hinchman did not have permission to take the vehicle, nor was he ever allowed to drive the vehicle prior to the event. In fact, the vehicle was later recovered on the Waterloo Road and had been abandoned, which Gordon wrote indicated Hinchman had “no intention to return the vehicle.”

Tonkin, the WVSP trooper, filed two additional complaints against Hinchman. One of them alleges Hinchman failed to return a black 2003 Chevrolet on Dec. 29, 2019 to a Selbyville resident who had allowed Hinchman to borrow the vehicle. However, the owner said he had only given permission to Hinchman to use it for about 30 minutes, and Hinchman allegedly failed to return the vehicle “or contact the victim in any way” subsequent to taking the vehicle.

In another complaint Tonkin filed against Hinchman about a week prior, Hinchman is alleged to have “borrowed” a green 1999 Ford Ranger from a male victim’s residence in Buckhannon on Dec. 21, 2019. After Hinchman allegedly failed to return the Ford Ranger, Tonkin and another WVSP trooper contacted two members of Hinchman’s family, both of whom weren’t able to reach Hinchman and had no contact information for him.

One of the family members said he’d seen Hinchman driving the Ford Ranger about two weeks prior and believed Hinchman had “no intentions of returning the vehicle,” Tonkin wrote in the report. That vehicle carried a value of approximately $3,000.

Bail was set at $35,000, and Hinchman remained incarcerated in the Central Regional Jail as of Monday afternoon.

The potential penalty for a conviction of unlawful taking of a vehicle is a fine of not more than $500 or confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.

The potential penalty for a conviction of grand larceny on each count is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for not less than one year and not more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for not more than one year and a fine of up to $2,500.

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