Buckhannon man arrested for allegedly stealing vehicle from automotive repair shop

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested last week after allegedly stealing a vehicle from an automotive repair shop located on Route 20 South Road.

William Peyatt, 21, was arrested for receiving or transferring stolen property, a felony; destruction of property, a misdemeanor; and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, also a misdemeanor.

According to the criminal complaints in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Deputy Joseph Barcus and Cpl. Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, on Friday, Sept. 4, just before 3:30 p.m., Barcus received a call about a stolen vehicle that was reportedly located on Third Street in Buckhannon.

Upon arriving on scene, Barcus saw an individual sitting in the passenger seat of a blue 2005 GMC Canyon. The vehicle was allegedly stolen from Highway to Heaven LLC, an automotive repair shop located at 879 Route 20 South Road, in the early morning hours of Sept. 4.

Several employees of the business stated they observed Peyatt, who was later charged, allegedly driving the vehicle north on Route 20 past McDonald’s in Buckhannon.

Because the vehicle was reported stolen and both Peyatt and the person seated in the vehicle said the vehicle didn’t belong to them, officers conducted a search of the vehicle while several employees of the owner were present. Peyatt and the other individual were detained for being in possession of the suspected stolen vehicle.

Upon searching the vehicle, Barcus found a wallet with “Billy” scratched in it on the front and a Buckhannon-Upshur High School diploma card belonging to Peyatt inside the wallet, which was reportedly located on the driver’s side floorboard. After a further search of the vehicle, Barcus allegedly located a used syringe with suspected methamphetamine inside, a blue marijuana bowl and several keys located inside the center console of the truck, the complaint says.

When officers spoke to the father of the owner of the business, Highway to Heaven, he reportedly notified Barcus that the keys located in the center console and several keys located on the driver’s side seat were taken from inside the business.

He explained the keys had been hanging on a board inside the business and were not in the truck.

Barcus spoke with the individual who had been sitting in the car when deputies initially arrived on scene. That person told law enforcement that Peyatt picked him up in the truck early that morning, according to the file. Several witnesses said they saw Peyatt driving the truck around Vicksburg Road, the complaint states.

Peyatt was placed under arrest for possession of a stolen vehicle, but when Barcus asked Peyatt where the truck came from, he said he didn’t know and the first time he saw the truck was that day.

Barcus also observed the passenger-side taillight of the truck had been partially broken and that it had not been broken prior to the vehicle being stolen, the file says.

Upon returning to the office, Barcus made contact with another employee of Highway to Heaven, who told law enforcement that several keys belonging to customers had been taken. That person also said employees had discovered a side door beside the garage was partially ajar.

The file says that investigating officers determined Peyatt could have squeezed through the gap in the door. Peyatt was also charged with destruction of property as a result of the damage to the taillight.

Soon after, Gordon searched Peyatt at the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office and allegedly located a used methamphetamine smoking device, a small plastic sealed bag containing suspected methamphetamine and a plastic container with suspected methamphetamine in Peyatt’s pocket.

Bail was set at $25,000 for receiving or transferring stolen property, $5,000 for destruction of property and $5,000 for possession of methamphetamine.

The possible penalty for a conviction of receiving or transferring stolen property is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 10 years or confinement for up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The possible penalty for a conviction of destruction of property is confinement for not more than one year, a fine of not more than $500 or both.

Finally, the possible penalty for a conviction of possession of methamphetamine is confinement for a term of 90 days to six months, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

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