EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSGENERATOR THIEVES
from Eyewitness News Online
Generator Thieves On Display At WVSP; More Arrests Likely
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jul. 26, 2012 9:09 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 26, 2012 9:23 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Some people who police say were preying on others during a time of disaster are in custody, but others remain on the loose. Now, West Virginia State Police are on a mission to round up those criminals.
The late June Derecho was, for many, a storm that showcased kindness from neighbors, but brought out the worst in others.
"Instead they used these storm to take advantage of others and just fulfill their own selfish desires," explains First Sgt. Michael Baylous.
Thirty-nine generators were reported stolen to state police across West Virginia. So far, nine suspects are now facing charges. They are:
*Mr. Jason D. Woods, DOB 11/29/75, from Nitro, West Virginia
*Ms. Shannon P. Conley, DOB 12/16/77, from St. Albans, West Virginia
*Mr. Robert D. Buzzard, DOB 06/15/74, from Boone County, West Virginia.
*Mr. Jason E. Clay, DOB 11/04/82, from Boone County, West Virginia
*Mr. Teddy R. Gill, DOB 01/19/80, from Crab Orchard, West Virginia
*Mr. Phillip D. Goff, DOB 04/20/66, from Lester, West Virginia
*Mr. Robert J. Goff, DOB 11/08/64, from Lester, West Virginia
*Mr. Arland Toler, DOB 11/07/64, from Hanover, West Virginia
*Mr. Troy Landon Cline, DOB 04/21/86, from Oceana, West Virginia
"It's ultimately passed on to the working men and women of West Virginia, and if I sound like I'm upset here, this infuriates me," says Baylous.
The hardest hit company was Frontier Communication. Fourteen of their generators were stolen from various locations across the state. In turn, knocking out phone service for hundreds during a time of disaster.
"A lot of the citizens didn't have any way to contact emergency services if they needed an ambulance. Police, fire, anything...they were out of telephone service because of these thefts," says Bryan Stover, Security Specialist for Frontier Communications.
Individuals were also targeted. Leroy Johnson from Hernshaw had his generator stolen, and is now commending state police for their quick action.
"They did one heck of a job. I thought I'd never see my generator again to be honest with you," said Johnson.
But police are calling on our viewers for help in tracking down even more generator thieves.
"If you know people of questionable character in your neighborhoods and they seem to have electricity while everyone else didn't in the area, then those might be the type of people that you want to report to us and let us follow up on," says Baylous.
Police are also searching for Bryan Spangler, DOB 05/06/1973 from Hurricane.
If you have any information, call your local state police detachment on log on to wvcrime.com.
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