Police make arrest for purse theft


BUCKHANNON —  A Buckhannon man was arrested for allegedly stealing a purse from a car at Sheetz Friday.

John Elliott Wardrope, 37, of Buckhannon, was arrested for petit larceny, entry of an automobile without breaking and trespassing in connection with the complaint. He was also arrested for burglary, a felony, in a separate case.

The victim exited Sheetz on Friday and a witness told her that a person had entered the car and taken her purse. The victim gave chase in her vehicle when the male, later identified as Wardrope, left on a bicycle, according to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office. Wardrope crossed the train tracks and went up the railroad grade towards Audrey’s Restaurant, at which time Cpl. Nicholas Caynor from the BPD caught up to Wardrope, who still had the purse under his arm.

After being taken into custody, Wardrope was found to have a BB pistol tucked in his waistband.

The victim estimated the value of the purse and the cost of replacing the items at $290.

Wardrope was also arrested on a burglary warrant by the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department stemming from a March 3 incident. In that case, Cpl. Dewaine Linger noted in the criminal complaint that Wardrope allegedly went to a residence at 97 Kalafat Drive and stacked up concrete blocks to reach a kitchen window. He pushed an air conditioner out of the window, entered the residence and allegedly stole skinning knives, popcorn, flashlights, batteries, medication, pork and beans, beer and other various items from the house.

Later that same night, Linger found Wardrope with many of the items from the house, but Wardrope claimed they belonged to him. When the items were returned to the victim, she identified them to be her belongings.

Magistrate Mike Coffman set bond at $50,000.

In other law enforcement news, the West Virginia State Police arrested a man for DUI over the weekend.

On Saturday, March 11, Trooper C.C. Mayle was notified by Upshur County 911 to be on the lookout for a male subject driving a back Ford Mustang who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol.

National Resource Officer Tanner Collins witnessed the vehicle allegedly fail to stop at a stop sign at the Hickory Road/Tallmansville Road intersection and initiated a traffic stop.

Mayle arrived to assist Collins and made contact with the driver, who identified himself as Arbogast.

Mayle started he could detect alcohol coming from Arbogast’s vehicle and asked Arbogast to exit the vehicle. Mayle said that Arbogast was having difficulty exiting his vehicle and needed to brace himself against the vehicle.

Arbogast told the officers that he had one malt liquor beverage. Collins conducted a preliminary breathalyzer test which resulted in a .072. That’s within the legal limit of 0.08.

Arbogast allegedly failed the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and showed impairment on the walk and turn and one-leg stand field sobriety test.

Mayle arrested Arbogast for driving under the influence third offense, a felony.

At the Elkins Police Department intoximeter, an hour and a half later, Arbogast registered a .048.

Arbogast had two prior convictions of driving under the influence with conviction dates of Sept. 29, 2010 and Sept. 13, 2007.

Coffman set bond at $10,000.

If convicted, Arbogast faces a confinement of not less than one nor more than three years and the court may in its discretion, fine between $3,000 and $5,000.

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