The Times West Virginian

April 14, 2009

4 suspects in string of area robberies arrested

By Misty Poe

FAIRMONT — Police have taken into custody four suspects who they believe are responsible for a string of “smash-and-grab” robberies throughout North Central West Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania.

On Friday, State Police officers with the Special Operations unit, in conjunction with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, arrested: Delmas Wayne Downey II, 25; John Simpkins Jr., 24; Andrew Gene Morris Jr., 22; and Amanda Jo Simpkins, 18. All suspects are from Morgantown and were arrested in Monongalia County, said State Police Sergeant G. E. Raikes.

All four suspects were arrested for felony breakings and entering, and were arraigned in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on Friday evening. They are currently being held at the North Central Regional Jail. Bond has been set for Downey and John Simpkins at $135,000 and for Morris and Amanda Simpkins at $90,000,

Police started to connect a string of robberies that occurred from November to January in Monongalia, Marion and Preston counties and Greene and Fayette counties in Pennsylvania because of the method used. Police used the term “smash-and-grab” to describe the crimes because the thieves were smashing windows of businesses and grabbing anything they could before police could respond to the scenes.

Information collected for the four arrest warrants was based on information obtained during the cooperative investigation between State Police agencies in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as Marion, Monongalia, and Preston County sheriffs’ departments and the Morgantown City Police Department.

According to 1st Sgt. C.E. Porter, District II commander for the West Virginia State Police, the case has been turned over to the Mon County prosecutor’s office and the suspects may face additional charges and Other suspects may be arrested.

E-mail Misty Poe at mpoe@timeswv.com.