Arrest made in Sumner Museum break-in

PARKERSBURG – The Parkersburg Police Department arrested Justin Randolf Stukey on charges of felony breaking and entering at Fulton’s Supply and the Sumner School Museum.

Police said the 30-year-old Stukey of 1717 Park St., Parkersburg, was arrested around 9 p.m. Thursday at the Juliana Street bus station on a warrant for allegedly forcibly breaking and entering into Fulton’s Supply on Market Street.

A criminal complaint filed by Parkersburg police detectives said on or about Nov. 19, 2012, Stukey forcibly entered Fulton’s Supply, 1211 Market St., removing an HP Touchsmart computer and a Motorola Razor cellular phone along with other items.

Police said Stukey also is charged with forcibly breaking a side door and entering the Sumner School Museum on Avery Street on Nov. 29, 2012. He is charged with removing $18,660 worth of copper piping and tools, officials said.

Friday morning Stukey was arraigned on the charges relating to the museum and given an additional $50,000 bond. He was set to be transferred to the North Central Regional Jail.

Stukey was arraigned on the Fulton Supply charges in Wood County Magistrate Court Thursday night. He was issued a $50,000 bond and placed in the Wood County Holding Center.

Officers received a tip that Stukey was in the bus station, said Sgt. Greg Collins of the Parkersburg Police Department. He said police had Stukey in mind for several break-ins around the same area of town.

A warrant for the breaking and entering was served and police took him into custody. After being taken into police custody, police started filling in gaps to other working cases, officials said.

“(Police) started making the connection and trying to see if it could be the same suspect in (the Fulton Supply and Sumner School) crimes,” Collins said of the investigations.

Sumner School was established during the Civil War and became the nation’s first free school for African American children below the Mason-Dixon line, according to its website. The school has since been demolished but the gymnasium, built in 1926, is now the Sumnerite African-American History Museum and Multipurpose Center.

Museum officials said they were glad the man allegedly responsible for the break-in was arrested.

“It’s nice to know he got caught,” Toni Oliver, president of the Sumnerite Association, said.

Collins said both investigations are still ongoing and evidence is being examined.

“No items have been recovered,” he said. “There is still evidence being evaluated in the cases.”

Stukey’s preliminary hearing on the charges relating to the Fulton Supply break-in has been set for 2:30 p.m. March 8, according to court records.