BUCKHANNON – A Michigan man was arrested after allegedly stealing a vehicle and tires from Jenkins Ford.
James E. Williams Jr., 52, of Detroit, was arrested Tuesday for grand larceny, a felony, and destruction of property, a misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Cpl. Victor Pyles with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Nov. 30, 2019, Pyles was dispatched by the Elkins Communications Center to Jenkins Ford in Buckhannon regarding a theft of wheels and tires.
Pyles arrived on scene at 8:25 a.m. and spoke to Joey and John Jenkins who co-own Jenkins Ford, Inc.
Pyles observed a maroon-colored Ford F-250 Super Duty Pickup sitting on rocks with all four tires missing. Pyles saw the front left passenger-side window damaged with what appeared to be a blunt object. The left rear window was destroyed, the file says.
Further investigation revealed the right front fender was struck with an unknown object and the battery of the vehicle was damaged and disconnected. In addition, the lug nuts from the vehicle were found thrown in a ditch/grassy area behind the vehicle, the police report says.
The lug wrench and assorted tire-changing tools were also thrown about haphazardly in the grassy area behind the vehicle.
Pyles noticed a brand-new black-colored 6-ton hydraulic piston jack under the front axle on the right side of the truck. Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Gordon arrived on scene to assist at this time.
While walking through the parking lot of Jenkins Ford, Gordon found broken glass and a broken hammer handle near a dumpster. It was at this time that John Jenkins advised that a white 2007 E350 Ford Box Van was also missing from the lot. The van had a key vault on the driver’s side window, which was found destroyed, and the keys inside were missing.
The complaint says the van was valued at approximately $6,000. Pyles collected evidence on scene and requested video footage from Jenkins Ford and Buckhannon Toyota in an effort to identify a suspect.
After a lengthy investigation, blood evidence that was secured while on scene and sent to the West Virginia State Police Laboratory came back with the findings nearly one year later. Pyles reviewed the lab report, which allegedly showed that the blood was that of James Edward Williams.
Bail is set at $30,000 cash only.
The penalty for a conviction of grand larceny is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years, or, at the discretion of the court, confinement in jail not more than one year and a fine of not more than $2,500.
The penalty for destruction of property is a fine not more than $500, or confinement in the county or regional jail not more than one year, or both.