Upshur man arrested for grand larceny after allegedly stealing a vehicle he started with a screwdriver

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man who was previously charged with possession of a stolen vehicle was arrested for allegedly stealing a vehicle from a parking lot.

Donnie Ables, 36, of Buckhannon, was arrested for grand larceny, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Cpl. F.J. Turansky, with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, Turansky was called to a large gravel parking lot near 400 Mud Lick Road in Buckhannon.

The call was in reference to a vehicle that had reportedly been stolen.

Upon arrival, Turansky met the owner of the vehicle, who said his employer leased the parking area. On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at around 8 p.m., the victim parked his vehicle – a 2006 white Jeep Wrangler – at the lot. The Jeep owner said he left for work in another vehicle and returned to discover his vehicle was gone.

He told police he had no idea who may have taken the vehicle. The vehicle was locked, and he had the only key in his possession.

The approximate value of the vehicle was $20,000, and on Oct. 27, the victim called police and told them he had seen the vehicle being operated on the roadway. While the victim was following the vehicle, he contacted law enforcement officers, who responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, a male subject identified as Ables was found, according to the police report. Officers confirmed Ables was allegedly driving the vehicle and had been starting it with a screwdriver.

According to the report, Ables also had belongings inside the vehicle.

Bail was set at $15,000 cash or surety by Upshur County Magistrate Alan Suder. The potential penalty for a conviction of grand larceny is confinement in the 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.

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