WASHINGTON, W.Va. - Deputy sheriffs in Wood County are investigating a burglary and two attempted break-ins over the weekend that may be tied to crimes being looked into by other agencies, authorities said on Monday.
Capt. Mark King said the three incidents occurred overnight Saturday into Sunday in the Walnut Grove subdivision off West Virginia 892. He said the West Virginia State Police also responded to two calls in that area recently, with evidence from one of those incidents discovered at one of the Walnut Grove scenes.
Investigators also are considering whether the activity could be related to a recent string of burglaries in Parkersburg.
"They probably are connected with the ones in Parkersburg," King said.
In Walnut Grove, a suspect or suspects gained entry to one house through a bathroom window and stole cash and jewelry, then tried to force entry through the door of a neighboring house but were unsuccessful. No one was home at either location, King said.
An attempt was made to enter a third house through a window, but the suspects did not make enough noise to alert the occupant.
The subdivision consists of a single, looping road; King declined to release specific addresses.
State police responded to a report in the area on Saturday, where a BB gun that resembled an automatic rifle was reported stolen. That item was recovered in the backyard of the Walnut Grove residence where entry was gained, King said.
Troopers were investigating another report Monday, King said, but he did not have specifics on that incident. A call to the State Police detachment in Parkersburg was not returned Monday.
More than 20 burglaries, mostly of vacant homes or the residences of elderly individuals, were reported in Parkersburg in February and March. Police said most of the incidents took place north of 23rd Street, and the suspects often knocked on doors in an effort to determine if anyone was home.
Parkersburg Police Detective Sgt. Greg Nangle said it's likely the individuals committing the crimes in the city would be doing the same thing outside its limits as well. Belpre Police noted similar incidents happening in that city as well.
Nangle said there have been fewer burglaries in recent weeks. He attributes that to the arrest of one suspect, Parkersburg resident Craig Ryan Clark, during a burglary on March 23. In addition, he believes at least one other suspect has already been interviewed by police, which may have caused him to scale back his activities.
"We have suspects who we believe are probably involved in them at this point," he said. "We have not made any additional arrests."