Man arrested after allegedly breaking into cabin, eating sausages

BUCKHANNON – A homeless man who allegedly broke into a cabin on Blackford Road was arrested last week.

Dale W. Linger, 37, of Buckhannon, was arrested Thursday, Feb. 17 for burglary, a felony, after allegedly admitting to breaking into a residence and eating some sausages.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clark’s office filed by investigating officer T.R. Collins with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, Collins responded to a breaking-and-entering complaint Feb. 17. When Collins arrived on scene, the property owner said his camp had been broken into and he had seen a male wearing all black walking toward the Hall Road.

The owner also said it was apparent someone had forced their way into the cabin via the front door.

“He also stated someone had eaten Vienna sausages that [were] stored inside the cabin,” Collins wrote in the report. The owner subsequently found a black coat in the driveway that didn’t belong to him.

Collins then talked to the owner’s neighbor who said he witnessed a man dressed in all black with scrapes on one of his legs sitting on the owner’s porch. The neighbor also told police the man dressed in black, whom Collins later identified as Linger, had asked him how to get to Buckhannon and what year it was.

Using his game camera, the neighbor had captured photos of the man on the porch which he shared with Collins, according to the police report. With help from Buckhannon Police Department officers, who had previously interacted with Linger, Collins was able to identify the man in black as Linger. Collins found Linger staying at a relative’s house on Sedgwick Street.

The relative identified the black coat left in the property owner’s driveway as Linger’s, and Collins asked Linger to come to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, where he placed Linger under arrest for breaking-and-entering.

After Collins transported Linger to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, Linger agreed to answer questions and told law enforcement that another man, who was not the property owner, had given him permission to enter the cabin in the event that a key was not under the front doormat.

“Mr. Linger admitted to using his shoulder to gain entry into the cabin at the end of the dirt road,” Collins wrote in the file. “Mr. Linger then admitted to eating the Vienna sausages … and entering the cabin the night prior and staying there until daybreak.”

The person Linger said had given him permission to enter the property did not have authority to grant him access, Collins noted in the file.

Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder arraigned Linger for burglary and set bond at $15,000 cash or surety.

The penalty for a conviction of burglary is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for one to 15 years.

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