Police looking for robbery suspects
WEST LOGAN, Jun 29, 2012 (The Logan Banner - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Local law enforcements are investigating a home invasion and robbery that occurred Tuesday, June 12, in West Logan. According to West Logan Police Chief Robert Ward, the residents were home at the time of the crime, but were unharmed.
"On June 12 shortly after 11 p.m. somebody entered a residence on Second Avenue in West Logan," Police Chief Robert Ward said. "One of the residents had gone to sleep while the other was in a different part of the house working."
The resident reported that a knock was heard on the front door, but they did not answer it since it was so late at night. The thief or thieves apparently assumed that no one was home.
"The unknown person or persons just waltzed in, looked around and quietly took the purse belonging to the lady who lives there and unplugged an HP laptop computer that belonged to the Masonic Lodge and took it too. They left behind the power charging cord and split."
Ward said within minutes four young people were observed on Walmart's security cameras attempting to purchase more than $2,000 worth of merchandise with the stolen credit and debit cards from the victim's purse. Their initial purchase attempt was denied due to the credit limit on the card. The suspects were persistent, and kept removing items from the list until, on their third attempt they were finally able to make a purchase with the stolen cards.
"Thanks to the excellent security team at Walmart we do have good footage of that," said Ward. "There were two girls, one with long brown hair and sort of chunky looking and one very slim. There were two boys, one rather small and dressed in black wearing a black toboggan and a clean cut looking boy with short brown hair.
"The security personnel at Walmart checked the amounts charged on the stolen credit cards with the amounts that went through the cash registers and actually got footage of them arriving in what looks like a white SUV, going through the store shopping and leaving in the same vehicle. They actually ran it through three times. You can see that clearly on the video."
Ward noted that other fraudulent charges made on the stolen credit and debit cards were made in Boone County at a convenience store.
"The West Logan Police Department and the West Virginia State Police have been investigating the theft by access device charges and home invasion," Ward said. "If anybody has any information about these four young people, they are asked to contact WLPD at 304-752-3244 or the WVSP at 304-792-7200. We know that somebody has to know one of these four suspects.
"The victim of this crime was traumatized by it. She had never been robbed before. To add insult to injury within days of her canceling her credit and debit cards, the thief called the bank and claimed to be the victim and asked that the card be reactivated -- and promptly went out and stole $300 more worth of merchandise with it.
"The victim here is hard working grandmother who works a stressful job and she had to go through the wringer having her cards cancelled, getting a new drivers license and having her Social Security number changed because of the identity theft of these
individuals who decided to take a ride at her expense instead of working for what they want."
Ward said the incident shows the importance of keeping your doors locked and valuables out of sight.
"People sometimes get lulled into a false sense of security," he said. "We have been fortunate for the past few years in West Logan to have a very low crime rate. But crime can happen anywhere."
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