Officials: Burglary suspect in custody

PARKERSBURG – Officials with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office believe they have one of the door-knocking burglars in custody following a burglary in North Hills on Monday.

Arron Lee Davis, 26, of South Hills Drive, Parkersburg, was taken into custody on Monday evening on one count of burglary following a turn of events that began with a suspicious vehicle, said Chief Deputy Shawn Graham with the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

Davis is suspected to be one of, if not the, the burglars who have been ransacking residences in Wood County over the past weeks after knocking on doors to see if anyone is home first, Graham said.

Deputies responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle and suspicious activity from 30 North Hills Drive on Monday evening, Graham said. The complaint from this address said an unknown male had exited a red pickup truck and come to the door of the residence, Graham said. The man then knocked, and, when no one answered, opened the screen door and attempted to enter the home, he said.

The homeowner of 30 North Hills Drive reported being home at the time of the incident and that the person in the red truck failed to gain entry into the home, Graham said.

When deputies arrived in the North Hills area, they discovered a red pickup truck parked near the lake, Graham said.

It was unclear when the truck had been moved to this location, but no one was near the vehicle when officers spotted it, Graham said.

Sgt. Brett Pickens recognized the parked pickup as a suspicious vehicle which was believed to be related to previous door-knocking burglaries and decided to stop and observe the vehicle, Graham said.

Approximately 15 minutes later, Davis walked up to the vehicle, Graham said. Davis was described as “sweating heavily and in mud-covered shoes,” Graham said.

Deputies were suspicious of Davis’s appearance and the circumstances of his vehicle being parked beside the lake, Graham said. When questioned as to why his shoes were covered in mud, Davis could not provide a reason, Graham said.

While deputies were questioning Davis, a call came in from 111 North Hills Drive about a burglary which had taken place after the attempted entry at 30 North Hills Drive, Graham said.

Other deputies responded to the nearby home, where they discovered muddy shoe prints throughout the ransacked residence, Graham said. The homeowner determined small pieces of jewelry to be missing from the residence, Graham said.

Davis’s muddy shoe tread was photographed and compared to the muddy prints left in the home, Graham said. The prints were determined to be a match, Graham said.

Deputies found a muddy shoe print outside of the window where entry had been suspected, Graham said. Deputies used a trash can lid to cover the shoe print from the rain and preserve this evidence until the storm passed. DNA and other unspecified evidence were found at the scene as well, Graham said.

No evidence was found on Davis except the matching shoe prints and the mud, Graham said.

“He had plenty of time to ditch anything that was on him before he walked up to deputies,” Graham said.

Once in custody, Davis refused to answer additional questions, Graham said. Graham believes that Davis had a hand in many of the recent door-knocking robberies in the area, he said.

“We are anticipating additional charges in the coming days,” Graham said.

Davis was arraigned before Wood County Magistrate Robin Waters and failed to post a $200,000 bond, Graham said. He was taken to North Central Regional Jail to await trial.

“I want to commend Pickens for finding the vehicle and being observant,” Graham said on Thursday. “Because of his work, we managed to catch Davis,” he said.