2017-08-02 / Front Page

Three arrested in connection with recent thefts

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department has charged three individuals in connection with multiple burglaries committed in southern Morgan County last month.

On Wednesday, July 26, Morgan County Sheriff KC Bohrer arrested Jentry D. Meade Jr., 26, of Fountain Terrace, Berkeley Springs and charged him with two counts of burglary, two counts of transferring stolen property and two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary.

Meade is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $15,000 bond.

The following day, Sheriff Bohrer arrested Justin Hargett, 26, of Winchester on two counts each of burglary, conspiracy and transferring stolen property. Hargett was released on a $15,000 bond.

The arrests were made after investigations into two daytime burglaries and other larcenies in southern Morgan County.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Morgan County Magistrate Court, Sheriff Bohrer reviewed burglary reports taken by Sgt. Wade Shambaugh and Deputy Chris Roper and then shared information about the crimes and stolen property online. Tips from the public pointed the investigation toward Meade, said the Sheriff.

Victims were able to recognize some of their property, including a large amount of gold jewelry and some antique furniture, at Yost Antiques & Bicycles in downtown Berkeley Springs.

The proprietor, David Yost, told police he had purchased the items from a Hargett subject.

Officers located the person, who told police they were looking for his brother, Justin Hargett. Hargett allegedly admitted that Meade had asked him to sell the jewelry and furniture for him.

Police then located Meade and his girlfriend on foot in the area, and took them into custody for questioning. The girlfriend, who has not been charged, said she had also sold antique items for Meade in Berkeley Springs.

Assisting in the arrests and investigation were Deputy Luke Shambaugh, Cpl. Scott Lemon, Deputy Dennis Jenkins and Cpl. Sam Smith, West Virginia State Police.

Sheriff Bohrer also charged David W. Yost, 76 of Berkeley Springs for failure to keep records as required by law (buying jewelry), a felony crime. Yost owns Yost Antiques & Bicycles and was found in possession of some of the items stolen during the recent burglaries. Yost was released on bond.

Sheriff Bohrer said the burglary investigation is ongoing at this time.

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Local thieves will continue

Local thieves will continue to victimize residents and property owners until, and unless, other people (such as pawn shop and other business owners) start denying criminals a "market" for their misdeeds by refusing to purchase obviously stolen items from these criminals. Any reasonably intelligent businessman knows full-well when an item has most likely been stolen and should also have a reasonable suspicion that the would-be "seller" is trying to illegally profit from their crimes - usually to fuel a drug habit. This is a blight on the community. Business owners also have no less than a moral obligation to report suspected crimes to our local police and sheriff's office.