The Times West Virginian

January 15, 2014

Two more charged in breakings-and-enterings

Officials: Crimes not related to string of home burglaries in Fairmont

By Kristen Talerico
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has arrested two additional people in connection with a recent string of breakings-and-enterings in Fairmont.

Law enforcement officials say these crimes are not related to the string of home burglaries that have hit Fairmont since summer.

According to criminal complaints filed at Marion County Magistrate Court, deputies had conducted a search warrant Monday at 125 Bonview Ave., Fairmont. The residence belonged to Randy Lee Flickner, 22.

Deputies arrested Flickner on Monday and charged him with conspiracy to commit a felony.

On Tuesday, deputies arrested Robert C. Gross, 26, of 222 1/2 Walnut Ave., Fairmont, and charged him with grand larceny. William Anthony Chester, 25, of 305 Walnut Ave., Fairmont, was also arrested Tuesday, and charged with breaking and entering.

Deputies found stolen merchandise from ABC Towing. The items included a generator, six Snap-On tools, a torpedo heater and other goods. The items were worth more than $2,000, the complaint added.

The items allegedly were stolen by Chester and Gross, and first taken to the house on Walnut Avenue and then to Bonview Avenue.

Gross wrote a bill of sale for the items in case anyone came looking for the items, the complaint said.

The complaint also stated that once Flickner was read his Miranda rights, he made a verbal statement that he was a lookout for Chester and Gross. Flickner told deputies that Chester and Gross brought the stolen merchandise to his house to keep until it was sold, and he would get a cut of the money from the sale.

Upon conviction, the charge of grand larceny brings a sentence of imprisonment in the penitentiary of not less than one nor more than five years, or, at the discretion of the court, be confined in jail not more than one year and fined not more than $2,500.

The charge of breaking and entering brings a sentence of confinement in a state correctional facility not less than one nor more than 10 years.

The charge of conspiracy to commit a felony brings a sentence of imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or, at the discretion of the court, both.

Chester and Gross are being held at North Central Regional Jail with bail set at $1.5 million. Flickner is also housed at North Central Regional Jail with bail set at $500,000.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has been working in collaboration with the Fairmont Police Department over the past several months to find the responsible parties for the crimes.

“The arrests of these three men are not connected to the burglaries that began taking place on the West Side of Fairmont last summer,” said Lt. Steve Shine of the Fairmont Police Department.

“To clarify, a burglary occurs to a residence and a breaking-and-entering occurs to a business. Both of these have to be with the intent to commit a crime inside.

“We at Fairmont Police Department, along with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, have had a series of breakings-and-enterings to businesses this year that we are related to the recent arrests of Randy Flickner, Robert Gross and William Chester.

“The break in these cases came during a recent breaking-and-entering that the Sheriff’s Department had on Trolley Street Sunday night. Fairmont Police assisted the Sheriff’s Department in that case and through that cooperative effort, several crimes were cleared up and the suspects apprehended.”

He said that charges are being prepared on Chester, Flickner and Gross for a grand larceny to Marion County Board of Education vehicles on 12th Street, a breaking-and-entering to a salvage yard on Morgantown Avenue, a breaking-and-entering to a salvage yard on Virginia Avenue, and a vehicle that was stolen from Speedway Avenue.

“There are additional suspects who assisted the perpetrators being developed, and there are possible crimes that were committed outside of Marion County,” Shine said.

“I cannot speak to the charges that the suspects will face for crimes committed in Marion County. That should be addressed by Sheriff Joe Carpenter or Chief Deputy Ralph Wright. We have an ongoing symbiotic relationship with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in which we are sharing leads, suspects and resources.

“Our relationship in this investigation has been nothing but positive for the residents of Fairmont and Marion County. We do not expect any of the suspects to be released from jail in the near future, and we will be filing several more charges on the aforementioned suspects by the end of business on Friday.”

He emphasized that these crimes and arrests are separate from the string of home burglaries that have been taking place in Fairmont since the summer.

“We do continue to develop suspects and are waiting for the evaluation of evidence collected in the burglary cases that we are working on in Fairmont.

“The recent suspects referred to in the above paragraph do not appear to be suspects in those crimes, and we do not have evidence to link them to those crimes.”

Email Kristen Talerico at or follow her on Twitter @KTalericoTWV.