Gary Palmer, at left, and Robert Palmer

Police: Brothers steal saw, flee and wreck on Old Weston Road

BUCKHANNON – Two brothers were arrested Saturday after allegedly stealing a saw from Criss Sales & Service, dropping it and then wrecking their vehicle as they attempted to flee.

Robert Palmer, 53, of Canton, Ohio, was arrested for grand larceny and conspiracy, both felonies, while Gary Palmer, 62, of Clarksburg, W.Va. was arrested for grand larceny, a felony; conspiracy, a felony; and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a misdemeanor, according to criminal complaints in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officers Cpl. Theron Caynor with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department and Senior Trooper P.J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

According to the report filed by Caynor, on Saturday, Aug. 31, Robert Palmer and his brother, Gary Palmer, entered Criss Sales & Service, located at 164 Old Weston Rd. They talked to the owner about a Husqvarna Model K760 cement saw that was for sale, the file says. When the owner had his back partially turned, the two brothers allegedly grabbed the saw and ran out of the business.

The owner yelled at them and told them to come back, but according to the report, Robert Palmer and Gary Palmer ran out to a vehicle that appeared to be waiting for them. As they left the business at high rate of speed, the saw fell from the back of the vehicle and was recovered by the owner. The complaint says the price of the saw was $1,219.

According to the report filed by Robinette, when he and Caynor responded to Criss Sales & Service in reference to the stolen saw, the E911 Upshur County Communication Center advised two males had fled the scene in a green Chevrolet Impala. The vehicle was reportedly seen traveling west in the direction of the Brushy Fork Crossover.

A minute later, at 11:32 a.m., the Comm Center received a call from a caller who said a green Chevy Impala had allegedly been involved in a vehicle accident at the intersection of the Old Weston Road and Brushy Fork Crossover.

The Comm Center told the officers two unidentified males had fled the scene on foot traveling west on the railroad tracks. According to information the Comm Center received, both males were wearing blue jeans and white T-shirts, and one of the two was wearing glasses.

Then, at approximately 11:44 a.m., Robinette reportedly observed a male wearing glasses, blue jeans and a white T-shirt emerge from a weeded area approximately .25 miles west of the crash scene. The male was approximately 200 yards south of Old Weston Road in a weeded area. Robinette observed the male remove his T-shirt “and lie down on the ground in an attempt to hide,” he wrote in the complaint.

The file says Robinette detained the male, later identified as Gary Palmer, who was sweating profusely and allegedly told the officer he had only been attempting to hitchhike. Robinette performed an officer safety search on Gary Palmer. While searching him, Robinette allegedly found a white crystal-like substance, which later field-tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the report.

Gary Palmer told Robinette he’d found the clear bag containing the crystal-like substance on the ground and believed it to be methamphetamine, the officer wrote in the report.

Robinette subsequently asked Gary Palmer where the other individual who had been inside the car during the time of the crash was. Gary Palmer stated he was the passenger in the vehicle, and the driver was a stranger who had picked him up while he was hitchhiking.

After investigating the crash, Caynor determined Robert Palmer, Gary Palmer’s brother, had been driving the green Impala at the time of the crash.

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bail at $50,000 for Robert Palmer and $55,000 for Gary Palmer.

The penalty for grand larceny is confinement for one to 10 years in the state penitentiary, or at the discretion of the court, imprisonment in jail for up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500. If convicted on the conspiracy charge, the Palmers would face confinement of one to five years in the state penitentiary, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

If convicted on the possession of a controlled substance charge, Gary Palmer also faces imprisonments for a term of 90 days to six months, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

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