South Carolina native arrested for auto theft


BUCKHANNON — A 27-year-old South Carolina man was arrested on Thursday, May 12 following the complaint of a stolen vehicle that resulted in a small pursuit.

According to court documentation, at approximately 1 p.m., Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller responded to the report of a stolen vehicle. After a few minutes of radio communication with Upshur County Comms Center, Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller spotted the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado. The vehicle was allegedly taken from Upper Childers Run and was then located near the intersection of Brushy Fork and U. S. Route 33.

Before the incident, the defendant, later identified as Brandon Lee Smith, had allegedly been at the victim’s house, located approximately 10 miles away from where police arrived on scene. Smith waited until the victim went into the residence before stealing his vehicle and leaving him at the home.

Sheriff Miller attempted to stop the vehicle but the defendant continued driving. Eventually the defendant stopped near the WBUC Road, close to the Huddle House. Sheriff Miller and Chief Deputy Mike Coffman were then able to detain the suspect.

Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Tanner Collins and Sergeant Theron Caynor were on scene to assist, along with Trooper Zach Lewis of the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

Smith is now facing charges of Grand Larceny, Driving on a Suspended License and Fleeing in a Vehicle. Chief Deputy Coffman also noted that there was a warrant for Smith’s arrest out of Putnam County for Petit Larceny.

Smith is currently being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on an $18,000 cash only bond.

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