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Charleston Police Bust Up Alleged Theft Ring

Reported: May. 30, 2014 12:04 PM EDT
Updated: May. 30, 2014 7:05 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- A police knock and talk uncovered what officers believe is a local theft ring.

Police went to 1331 Stuart Street on Friday morning, after receiving numerous complaints that people living there were stealing from homes in the neighborhood.

"We received complaints about this particular residence that the kids were breaking into neighboring houses," Lt. Shawn Williams said.

Inside, police said they found drugs and many items they believe to be stolen from neighboring houses.

Janet Rice is one of those victims. She lives right next door.

"We literally have to call the police every day for robbery, breaking in, just stealing, thieving or trash or in the yard," she said. "It's sad."

Police arrested April Smith, the woman who lives in the home, on outstanding warrants for transferring and receiving stolen property. Police said they also found drugs in her purse.

Her juvenile son was also arrested. Police believe he was involved in the thefts.

"Ranges from lawnmowers, weed eaters and there are multiple, multiple purses inside with checkbooks that obviously don't belong to this residence," Williams said.

The investigation did not stop on Stuart Street. Police got information the home, at the corner of Third Avenue and Bream Street, may be the hub of the operation.

"Anything you want to say ma'am?" Eyewitness News asked one of the women who was being arrested.

"Not to you guys," she said.

Several people were taken into custody from the home on other outstanding warrants. Police said they expected to make more arrests and recover more stolen items.
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"It's time to just stand up for something, or just fall for everything," Rice said.

The city building commission was also with police on Friday. Workers condemned the Stuart Street home because of sewage issues.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- Charleston police said they are making a dent into a large theft ring in the area after a raid at a house on the West Side.

This investigation started when people living on Stuart Street started complaining of break-ins and burglaries and their personal items coming up missing.

Police showed up at 1331 Stuart St. and found a lot of those missing items. They arrested April Smith for an outstanding warrant for transferring and receiving stolen property, but they also said they found drugs on her. Her juvenile son also was arrested, and police believe he is a part of the theft ring. Several others were taken into custody for questioning.

The investigation brought police to the corner of Third Avenue and Bream Street where police believe the theft ring has been operating.



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