Man arrested driving stolen vehicle

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BUCKHANNON — A Parkersburg man was arrested for three felonies after he was spotted driving an alleged stolen car.

William John Smith, 40, was arrested for receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle, fleeing from an officer in a vehicle with reckless disregard and driving while license revoked for DUI, third offense, all felonies.

Deputy Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department observed a black Hyundai Sonata traveling east on Morton Avenue, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office.

Gordon had prior knowledge of the vehicle and believed it to be stolen. The registration of the vehicle came back to a 1999 Chevy.

When Gordon turned around and activated his emergency lights, the vehicle accelerated and failed to yield to a four-way stop at Morton Avenue and Fifth Street.

“The vehicle was traveling approximately 53 mph as it traveled through the stop sign and continued onto the Hall Road,” Gordon wrote in the complaint.

The vehicle eventually came to a stop on the Hall Road and the driver, Smith, advised that he had borrowed the vehicle over the weekend but had heard rumors it was stolen. A records search also showed that Smith’s driver’s license had been revoked for DUI and that he had two prior convictions for driving revoked for DUI, in 2014 in Ritchie County and in 2016 in Lewis County.

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $75,000.

If convicted, Smith faces one to five years in prison and a $1,000 to $2,000 fine for fleeing from an officer in the vehicle with reckless disregard; one to three years in prison and a fine of $500 to $5,000 for receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle; and one to three years and a fine of $3,000 to $5,000 for driving while license revoked for DUI-third offense.

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