Mark Wilfong
Mark Wilfong

Police arrest man for allegedly attempting to commit grand larceny on Phillips Dairy Road

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon man was arrested after allegedly entering a vehicle without permission over the weekend.

Mark Wilfong, 34, of Buckhannon was arrested for tampering with a motor vehicle and attempting to commit grand larceny.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer trooper Z.M. Lewis with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Sunday, October 3, at approximately 12:22 p.m., Lewis received a call through the Upshur County Communications Center in reference to a suspicious person on Phillips Dairy Road.

Lewis arrived at approximately 30 minutes later and contacted the caller, who said he observed a tall, skinny white male walking around his property and witnessed him enter a white Ford F-150. The caller said he had never seen or spoken to the man before and he did not have permission to be inside the vehicle, according to the file. The vehicle belonged to the caller’s landlord and boss.

According to the complaint, the caller confronted the man, who allegedly claimed he was looking for his car keys. After speaking with the man briefly and telling him to leave the property, the individual left on foot, back in the direction of Phillips Dairy Road.

Lewis canvassed the area in an attempt to locate the unknown male, with no success.

At approximately 1:54 p.m. Lewis was informed by the Upshur County E-911 Communications Center that the man was spotted in the area again, but on a different property. Lewis arrived on scene, and shortly after beginning to search a wooded area near the residence, Lewis saw a man without a shirt running into the woods away from him. The officer was approximately 150 yards away and did not give pursuit, according to the complaint.

Lewis and a second state trooper, TFC. Robinette, located the man, later identified as Wilfong, walking down a hillside near a residence on the Phillips Dairy Road. Robinette approached Wilfong and detained him. Lewis saw a screwdriver protruding out of the man’s pocket, which was removed for officer safety along with two knives. Robinette also felt a sharp object in Wilfong’s front right pocket, which happened to be multiple keys, according to the complaint.

The initial caller identified Wilfong as the man in the truck and said a screwdriver was missing from the passenger seat and a key was missing from the cupholder, the complaint says. Lewis then used one of the keys to start the vehicle successfully.

Bail was set at $30,000 recognizance or surety by Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder.

The potential penalty for tampering with a motor vehicle is confinement for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $500, or both. The potential penalty for attempting to commit grand larceny is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than three years, or confinement in jail for not less than six nor more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $500.

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