Police arrest package thief


BUCKHANNON — A man who allegedly stole packages from Smithfield Street and other areas early this holiday season has been arrested.

John Wayne Wortman, 34, of Buckhannon and Augusta, W.Va., was arrested for grand larceny and receiving or transferring stolen vehicle, both felonies, as well as petit larceny (two counts) and driving suspended, both misdemeanors.

On Nov. 13, Wortman is allegedly seen on video walking past 49 Smithfield St. after a United States Postal Service employee dropped off four packages, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office. Wortman is then seen walking on the porch of the residence. When the owner of the residence came home that afternoon the packages were gone, according to the criminal complaint. Wortman is the only person seen in the video after the packages were delivered. The packages were valued at $123.53.

Three days later, Wortman was caught on home surveillance operating a blue 2005 Subaru Impreza belonging to Bessie Wardrope. Wortman allegedly took two packages off the porch of 33 Phillips Dairy Rd. valued at $57 while he was in possession of the vehicle.

Wardrope told Deputy Tyler Gordon with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department that Wortman told her he was taking the vehicle and would be back in 45 minutes. However, Wardrope said the vehicle was not returned and Wortman would not return attempts to contact him.

The vehicle was valued at $1,040 with another $200 of property in the vehicle.

Wortman has a revoked driver’s license due to unpaid citations and mandatory insurance, according to the criminal complaint.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bond at $22,900.

Gordon and Patrolman First Class Joshua Wilson with the Buckhannon Police Department were the investigating officers.

In a separate case, Rodney Allen Rowan 22, of Buckhannon was arrested for possession with intent to deliver meth and driving while license revoked for DUI, third offense, both felonies.

On Dec. 23, Gordon observed a red Jeep Liberty backing out of Cook’s convenience store. After approaching Gordon, the vehicle made a U-turn and returned to Cook’s parking lot. The vehicle had a defective license plate light and the plate was hard to read, according to the criminal complaint.

Gordon identified Rowan as the driver and observed a container with a green leafy substance believed to marijuana in the driver’s door handle, according to the complaint. A search of the vehicle yielded two digital scales, several unused clear plastic baggies and approximately 23 grams of a crystal-like substance believed to be crystal methamphetamine  in three different baggies. Rowan allegedly admitted to possessing and intending to deliver crystal meth after having purchased it in Harrison County, according to the criminal complaint.

The passengers in the vehicle told Gordon they had just gotten in the vehicle prior to Cook’s store.

Rowan had two prior convictions for driving suspended with a conviction date of Sept. 11, 2017 for both offenses.

If convicted, Rowan faces confinement in the state penitentiary for one to five years and/or  a fine of not more than $15,000 for possession with intent to deliver meth and confinement in the penitentiary for one to three years and a $3,000 to $5,000 fine for driving while license revoked for DUI third offense.

Hurst set bond at $30,000 cash and $10,000 cash or surety.9

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