Martin: Burglaries may be related

PARKERSBURG – The arrest of a Mineral Wells man Sunday for allegedly trying to burglarize a Fairview Avenue home may lead to additional charges and more arrests, said Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin on Monday.

The arrest of Craig Ryan Clark, 28, of 32 Forrest Ave. provided investigators with new information and opened up additional avenues of investigation regarding recent burglaries in north Parkersburg, Martin said.

Clark was arraigned Sunday in Wood County Magistrate Court on a felony charge of burglary and his bond was set at $25,000. According to magistrate court records, Clark was released on bond Monday and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 11.

Martin said Sunday’s incident began about 11:22 a.m. when police received a burglary call in the 800 block of Fairview Avenue. Officers arriving on scene found a female sitting in a parked vehicle who said she was waiting on her boyfriend.

After speaking with the subject, officers went to check the residence of the alleged burglary. The officers located Clark in the fenced, back yard of the residence and he fled on foot, Martin said.

Clark was pursued to the Kroger on Seventh Street, where he left his jacket and alleged evidence in hiding and left the building. He was stopped a short time later by a Parkersburg police officer in the area of City Park.

“The result of the investigation revealed that Clark went to a specific residence on Fairview Avenue and knocked on the door and entered when there was no answer,” Martin said. “While inside the residence, Clark removed an amount of jewelry and fled the residence once (Parkersburg Police Department) uniformed officers arrived at the scene.”

Martin said the method used in Sunday’s incident was similar to other recent burglary incidents being investigated by police in that area of north Parkersburg.

Police have been investigating about 20 burglaries reported over the past five weeks in the northern section of Parkersburg. In those cases, suspects have been reported knocking on doors to case a house.

A variety of small items have been taken, including jewelry, cash and guns. Several incidents have occurred in other areas, but most of the burglaries have been north of 23rd Street in Parkersburg, officials said.

Police believe the suspect in those cases went door-to-door, knocking to see if anyone is at home, during the day and late at night, often between 2-4 a.m. When the door is not answered, the home is marked as a potential target.

It is too early to make a direct connection among the cases, but officers are continuing to follow up on information developed as part of recent interviews and investigations, Martin said.

“The department will be following up with information gleaned from this arrest in the coming days to close the current burglary investigations in this area of the city,” he said.

Martin said the investigations could result in additional charges and arrests. The police department is dedicating much staff and manhours to the case, he said.

“I think we’re on the right track,” he said.