The Times West Virginian

Local News

May 5, 2013

Newspaper theft will lead to prosecution

‘Those who choose to ignore the laws will face charges’

FAIRMONT — The Times West Virginian is available for home delivery, so that each and every morning, you can read the news that matters to you in the comfort and convenience of your home.

But it’s also available for purchase at local convenience stores and from “racks,” the brightly colored boxes on street corners or in front of businesses.

A customer can plug in three quarters on weekdays or six quarters on Sundays to open the rack and take a copy of the newspaper. But the 75 cents plugged into the machine six days a week and the $1.50 on Sundays entitles the customer to one copy of the newspaper.

Taking any more than one copy without paying is theft — “petit larceny,” which is defined as theft of property or services valued at less than $1,000.

And while stealing newspapers doesn’t seem like a serious crime, if found guilty, West Virginia Code holds that petit larceny is a misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of incarceration of no more than one year, a fine of no more than $2,500, or both, at the discretion of the court.

“Racks are constantly monitored, and we will prosecute those who are found to be stealing newspapers,” said Times West Virginian publisher Chuck Jessup.

Jessup said with the popularity of extreme couponing shows, Sunday newspapers that contain valuable coupons are targeted. But Jessup cautioned that while getting more and more newspapers at a discounted cost may help the bottom line, it’s not worth the possible consequences of committing theft.

Recently, two women were arrested and charged with petit larceny after early-Sunday morning thefts at racks. The newspaper’s management had very quickly identified a problem with the amount of money contained within the rack versus the number of newspapers left.

Because of the inaccuracies, the racks were being very closely monitored. A carrier and his wife witnessed a car driving from rack to rack, emptying each of newspapers while only paying for one copy. The couple wrote down the license plate number and make and model of the car, which was turned over to the Marion County Sheriff’s Department for investigation and the eventual arrest of the two women.

Jessup stressed that stealing from racks is no different than paying for one newspaper at a store and then taking a handful.

“Our employees and our carriers will continue to be diligent in their efforts to make sure that those who want to read the newspaper have access to it, and those who choose to ignore the laws will face charges,” Jessup said.

Email Misty Poe at mpoe@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @MistyPoeTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Justin with Group.JPG Fraternity and community surprise Justin Heydon with generous gift

    How hard is it to keep a secret for months among 400 people?
    For the past three months, one secret has been kept from Morgantown resident Justin Heydon and his family.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast sentenced to prison for distribution of child porn

    A Fairmont man has been sentenced to two years in prison for distributing child pornography.

    July 22, 2014

  • BOE questions reading programs

    Questions were raised at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Monday as to whether or not certain reading programs up for renewal this year are the best option for students.
    FastForWord and Reading Assistant subscriptions for the 2014-15 academic year will cost the BOE $97,393. The board approved the renewal, but only after discussion.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairmont Farmers Market drawing larger crowds

     Representatives with the Fairmont Farmers Market are hoping to grow this local community offering.
    Kate Greene, executive director of Main Street Fairmont, said farmers markets are growing across the country as people are reconnecting with the idea of access to healthy food, and Marion County has a real opportunity to benefit from this trend because it’s such an agricultural place to live. However, some of the farmers markets in surrounding areas have started to grow a little bit more quickly, which has been to the detriment of Marion County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mannington Council OKs equipment purchases

     Mannington City Council approved purchases regarding safety and maintenance.
    At its Monday meeting, council discussed and approved the purchases of a Taser, a 5-foot cutter for a tractor and a lift for vehicle maintenance.
    The Taser was purchased for the Mannington Police Department.
    “We have four full-time police officers. We only had three Tasers,” Taylor said. “So we needed to purchase a fourth which was budgeted for.”

    July 22, 2014

  • Brown vs BOE 2.jpg Integration was not embraced by everyone at first

    (Editor’s note: This is the next in a regular series looking at how the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education impactedMarion County.)

     schools integrated in 1955, everything was black and white.
    “Before they integrated the schools, you just knew where you were supposed to be, and that’s what you did,” said Pat Smith, who went to Dunbar High School and then to Fairmont Senior High School after integration in 1955. “... You just dealt with it. You knew what you could do and you knew what you couldn’t do … I don’t even know what would’ve happened if somebody had crossed the lines, but we knew not to do that.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • BOE questions reading programs

    Questions were raised at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Monday as to whether or not certain reading programs up for renewal this year are the best option for students.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mannington council OKs safety and maintenance purchases

    Mannington city council approved purchases regarding safety and maintenance.

    July 21, 2014

  • Phase One White Hall Sidewalk Project completed

    The first phase of the White Hall side walk project has been completed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Boil-water advisory issued for Rivesville PWS

    A boil water notice has been issues to the customers of the Rivesville Public Water System serving the area of William Smith Road.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads