BUCKHANNON – A West Virginia Wesleyan College student was arrested over the weekend after allegedly stealing a vehicle from the Sheetz parking lot.
David Nichols, 19, of Buckhannon, was arrested one on count grand larceny, a felony.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Sgt. Darin Hissam with the Buckhannon Police Department, on Feb. 27, Hissam was dispatched to Sheetz for a reported stolen vehicle. Hissam was informed by the victim that his silver 2020 Ford EcoSport was stolen from the parking lot while he was inside the store.
The victim said he pulled into a parking spot on the side of the store, turned the ignition off, and left the keys in the ignition and the vehicle unlocked to make a brief stop at the store. When he came back outside a few minutes later, his vehicle was no longer parked where he left it. Sheetz surveillance cameras showed a person in dark clothing and light-colored shoes approach the vehicle from the direction of Walmart. According to the report, the subject got into the car and drove off the parking lot and turned south on Route 20.
Walmart Loss Prevention checked their surveillance cameras and got several photographs of the subject since he was in Walmart prior to stealing the vehicle, the police report says.
Hissam took several of the photographs to Sheetz and watched additional surveillance video, showing the subject walking through the Sheetz lot on his way to Walmart, approximately 15 minutes prior to the vehicle being taken. A manager at Sheetz said the subject was in the store frequently and believed he was a college student. Further investigation at WVWC provided information that the suspect was on the basketball team. Hissam was able to identify Nichols by utilizing the WVWC basketball team photos on their website.
The complaint says Hissam also located the stolen vehicle, parked and locked up in a campus parking lot. The report notes that WVWC security cooperated with police, providing them with Nichols’s campus address, where he was located and taken into custody.
Bail was set at $10,000.
The penalty for a conviction of grand larceny is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years or in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for not more than one year and a fine of not more than $2,500.