WHITE HALL – There have been a number of robberies of vehicle dealerships over the past few weeks in Marion and Harrison counties.
Toothman and Sowers Ford in White Hall and Chenowith Ford in Clarksburg were both hit by thieves who were searching for specific bounty.
“We did have theft, they got tires and wheels off a truck,” said Frank Sowers, one of the owners of Toothman and Sowers Ford. “The tires and wheels were in excess of $3,000.”
At Monday’s meeting of White Hall Town Council, White Hall Police Chief Geno Guerrieri said he would be meeting with law enforcement officers in other counties Tuesday to discuss the possibility that the recent robberies of several dealerships could be connected.
“It’s not just happening here, it’s happening in Harrison County, Mon County,” Guerrieri said at Monday’s meeting. “I’ve got a meeting with about four other departments, we’re going to put all our stuff together, we’ll figure it out.”
In Marion County, Guerrieri said there have already been robberies of some dealerships where the stolen goods consisted of items ranging from from tires all the way to trucks.
“A couple of the dealerships got broken into,” Guerrieri said. “We had three trucks stolen from Urse Dodge... it’s getting bad.”
Sowers said he is aware of the string of robberies, noting that the seemed hit happened in the morning, and that other dealerships in other counties have been hit.
“Had some tires and wheels stolen about a week ago, in the wee hours of the morning,” Sowers said. “Of course they had some kind of theft out at Chenowith and Country Club in Clarksburg.”
At the meeting, Guerrieri said he did retrieve one stolen truck, and said he hoped the meeting of different police departments would lead to a collaboration which would be able to catch the culprit.
“I recovered one truck, hopefully get the other two trucks back and find out who’s doing this,” Guerrieri said.
Guerrieri concluded his police report by saying that he believes the department will need to hire another officer soon, which he said would possibly cost less because of the amount of overtime he is paying current officers covering the shifts.
“I’ve got to have another full-time soon, we’re just paying too much overtime trying to cover shifts,” Guerrieri said. “We’ll wait until after the first of the year.”