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Cowger

Clarksburg man arrested for allegedly breaking into Upshur County business

BUCKHANNON — A Harrison County man has been charged for allegedly breaking into an Upshur County business following a series of events in early March involving at least two other local businesses.

Kevin J. Cowger, 48, of Clarksburg, was arrested Saturday, March 11, for breaking-and-entering, a felony, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office by Upshur County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Coffman.

Police say that on Friday, March 3, at about 7:30 p.m., a man driving a Toyota Rav 4 unsuccessfully attempted to break into Buckhannon Discount Tire in Tennerton, first by using a pry bar and then by kicking the door. The report notes that the Rav 4 had distinctive wheels and a rental sticker in the windshield.

Two days later, a blue Toyota Rav 4 matching the same description was seen leaving Mike Ross Inc. on Morton Avenue after dark Sunday, according to the complaint. A man can be seen on surveillance video entering the business and later leaving, carrying bags.

Also on Sunday, a blue Rav 4 was seen leaving the parking lot of Rite-Way Heating and Plumbing on the Old Ekins Road at about 7 p.m. after someone broke into that business through the back door using a pry bar, stealing various items.

The report then states that on Friday, March 11, Coffman initiated a traffic stop on a Toyota Rav 4, matching the description of the one seen on video. The vehicle was rented from Enterprise Car Rental in Harrison County by Cowger, who fits the description of the suspect seen on video surveillance, according to the complaint.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a camo face covering, camo jacket, bolt cutters and a pry bar, according to the complaint. They also found a magnifying glass with a gold handle, which Mike Ross told officers he had received as a gift.

Police later searched Cowger’s residence in Clarksburg, where they found tools that matched the description of those taken from Mike Ross, Inc.

Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $75,000 cash only.

The penalty for a conviction of breaking-and-entering is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a term of one to 10 years.

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