Man arrested on felony destruction charge

PARKERSBURG – A building in downtown Parkersburg led police to a felony destruction of property arrest Wednesday afternoon.

Roger L. Riffle, 33, of 1212 Market St., Apt. A, Parkersburg, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after police detectives and agents with the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on his Market Street apartment.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court by police detective Matt Eichhorn, sometime between June and July of this year, Riffle defaced the property at 1122 Market St. by painting graffiti on the buildings.

The damage exceeded the felony threshold of $2,500, and is estimated to be around $12,000 in damages, police said.

A preliminary hearing for Riffle will be set in Wood County Magistrate Court before Magistrate Brenda Marshall within 20 days, according to court records.

According to police, the efforts are part of cracking down on a citywide group of graffiti artists.

Parkersburg police Chief Joe Martin said he decided to take a stand about the growing problem with the destruction of property within the city.

Eichhorn was designated to run the operations, Martin said.

“It has been very beneficial for us to identify, as soon as we know who that signature belongs to,” Martin said of the graffiti around the city. “We did receive a lot of tips from the general public.”

Martin said any tip is helpful, even if residents don’t believe it might be. He said the investigation into Riffle was a combined effort of good police work, interviews and asking the right questions.

“Matt (Eichhorn) has spent a lot of time on the cases and teaching (police) what it means,” Martin said of the graffiti symbols that are often in codes. “It is not over for us and we are still going to aggressively pursue (the graffiti problem).”

Riffle is accused of “tagging” the Parkersburg Medical Association building at 1122 Market St.

Martin said once police are aware of the graffiti and can identify the “BDK” group members who are mostly responsible for spreading it around town, they expect to make more arrests for other property destruction.

He said police have identified, through this investigation, information that has led them into the county.

“We need the public’s cooperation and assistance into this investigation,” Martin said.

Anonymous tips can be left at www.parkersburgpolice.com or anonymous calls can be made to Eichhorn or any other member of the Parkersburg Police Department at 304-424-8440.