Upshur man arrested for allegedly driving a stolen vehicle on Route 33 near Buckhannon exit

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested this week for allegedly driving a stolen vehicle after police pulled him over for no registration.

James Heater, 41, of Buckhannon, was arrested for possession of stolen property, a felony, following a traffic stop Monday.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Cpl. B.K. Wright with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Aug. 29, 2022, Wright was entering Route 33 on the Buckhannon ramp when he encountered a black Toyota Tacoma truck traveling eastbound with no visible registration.

Wright then initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle on Morton Avenue and identified the driver as Heater by his driver’s license.

While speaking with Heater, Wright learned there was no insurance or registration on the vehicle. Heater allegedly stated that he had “just traded” with a male subject in Huntington and did not receive a title to the truck, the complaint states. At this time, Wright completed an ownership inquiry through the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles on the black Toyota Tacoma, and the results indicated the vehicle was stolen.

The vehicle in question was a 2017 Toyota Tacoma with an estimated Kelley Blue Book trade value of $12,536, according to the police report.

Bail was set at $20,000 cash or surety by Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis. As of Wednesday evening, Heater was no longer listed as incarcerated, according to the W.Va. Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority website.

The penalty for a conviction of possession of stolen property is confinement in the penitentiary 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 up to $2,500.

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