Mercer Sheriff's blotter

MERCER SHERIFF

May 26

ATTEMPT TO COMMIT A FELONY, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: Sgt. S.A. Sommers responded to an alarm at One Stop Beverage Mart on Cumberland Road. Upon arrival, he observed one of the windows in the front door had been broken in what appeared to be an attempt to enter the business.

The officer examined the side door and found it had not been tampered with. The owner of the business arrived and stated he could not use the surveillance system at the time, but a manager would be in later in the morning. Sommers left his business card and requested that the manager get in touch with him if there was footage in the system that would prove helpful in the investigation.

Later that day, the officer received photo messages from the business owner depicting two white males in a flatbed truck pull in front of the store. One of the males retrieved a metal pipe from the bed of the truck and used it to strike the window. Shortly thereafter, that male ran to the truck to leave, likely due to the audible alarm sounding.

Sommers noted that the truck pictured in the surveillance footage had been stolen from Ritchie Equipment on the same date as the incident and is the subject in another report. On May 27, Lt. S.J. Cary and other deputies from day shift arrested Dustin Mustard, 24, of Bluefield, and Jacob Mustard, 22, of Bluefield, and subsequently executed a search warrant at their residence.

During the search, officers reportedly retrieved evidence from numerous crimes that had occurred during the day of March 26. Of the items recovered were clothes matching what the suspects were wearing at the time this crime was committed.

BREAKING AND ENTERING: At approximately 5 a.m., Cpl. J.D. Ellison received a call to respond to the Family Dollar Store in Glenwood. There, a passerby reported the front door had a glass broken out of it. When Ellison and Deputy T.A. Lacy entered the building through the broken door, the officers found there were no suspects inside, but the cigarette display case was damaged, with a large hole cut out of the glass and it appeared the cigarettes had been taken.

While outside, Ellison reported seeing a package of cigarettes lying on the ground and believed one of the suspects must have dropped it on the way out earlier. The officer also collected a pink-handled knife lying inside the doorway and collected both the cigarettes and the knife for evidence.

The employee who arrived to accept control of the business identified the knife as one sold at the store.

On May 27, MCSD day shift received a call to the Mercer Mall stating that someone was going through vehicles at the establishment. Sgt. J.J. Ruble and Lt. S.J. Cary identified the subject and identified him as Dustin Thomas Mustard, 24, of Bluefield.

In his pocket was a pack of Marlboro Special Blend cigarettes, the same kind stolen from the Dollar General Store, as well as the brand Ellison found at the scene that morning. Mustard was taken into custody by Ruble and Cary and interviewed. Officers later obtained a search warrant for his residence on Duff Hollow Road, off of Airport Road in Bluefield. During the search, officers found several more packs of Marlboro Special Blend cigarettes, all stamped with the same number, leading officers to believe they were all part of the same batch and came from the same place.

Ellison noted that he believed Mustard had an accomplice in the Dollar General break-in, but follow-up was required before warrants could be requested in that case.

BREAKING AND ENTERING, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: Deputy M.C. Altice responded to Family Dollar on Coal Heritage Road in Brushfork, where a possible burglary was reported. Mercer 911 advised while he was en route that the break-in could be linked to others in which a flatbed truck was taken from Ritchie Equipment and another Dollar General burglary. Upon the officer’s arrival, he reported that most of the glass was busted from the front door and windows of the storefront.

He noted the door frames were collapsed inward and the brick at the front of the store was falling inward.

Altice then concluded someone likely rammed the front of the store with a vehicle. He then entered the store through the broken door and triggered the audible alarm, clearing the building for threats and potential suspects.

He then contacted two store managers. After they arrived and shut off the alarm, the managers advised they were uncertain if anything was missing, because the store did not have a full-time manager at the time.

One of the managers who responded to the scene logged into the security system and replayed security camera footage from the evening, spotting a scene at approximately 1:30 a.m., when a white Ford F-350 with a flatbed and wood handrails backed toward the storefront and rammed the back of the truck through the storefront doors.

After that, two males entered the store through the doors, ran over to the cash registers and pulled open the drawer. Not finding any money, the suspects returned to the truck and fled.

Deputy M.R. Lacy and Altice attempted to lift any latent fingerprints at the scene. The investigation was ongoing as of last report.

BREAKING AND ENTERING, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY: Sgt. S.A. Sommers responded to Mercer Mall Road, where a complainant at Ritchie Equipment advised the electronic gate to the maintenance lot of the business had been rammed by a vehicle, which was evident by the pieces of marker light on the pavement. Sommers spoke with an employee who reported he arrived at work and found the gate had been entered. When he entered the garage, which usually housed a white, F350 flatbed, the employee discovered someone had forced entry through the rear garage door, and the truck was missing.

Sommers reported that the front garage door had been opened. He inspected the rear door and found tool marks where it had been pried to allow entry.

The employee reported the mechanic had left the keys to the truck on the front seat, so the suspect could likely drove the truck out of the garage upon entering the garage and opening the front door.

The approximate value of the truck is reported at $13,000.

Sommers had Mercer County 911 issue a Be-On-the-Lookout order for the vehicle and advised the oncoming shift of officers of the theft.

He also noted there were three other breaking-and-entering issues on the same date. One was at the Family Dollar in the Bluefield/Brushfork area in which it appeared the store had been rammed with a vehicle matching the description of this vehicle. On the same date, Lt. S.J. Cary notified Sommers that the vehicle had been recovered off Ada Road with blood and possible latent prints recovered from the vehicle. The evidence was sent to the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab for evaluation as well as for comparison to known samples of the suspects.

BREAKING AND ENTERING: Deputy M.R. Lacy responded to Maple Acres Road, where a complainant reported he returned home and found the screen was out of his window and laying beside the building. He then noticed the front window was open and someone had broken into the building.

Lacy found two pieces to a tire-iron kit had been left behind, and the resident reported his Xbox 360 had been stolen, as well as two controllers, a laptop, and a white hard drive. The landlord advised a cash box used to collect rent money for storage money was also missing. Fingerprints were taken from the scene.

As of last report, deputies were awaiting word on whether this case could be tied to the string of other break-ins related to the Ford F-350 and suspects believed to have taken it.

May 28

DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE: Cpl. M.S. Horn and Deputy K.M. Saddler responded to a home in Cedar Ridge, where a domestic disturbance was reported. Mercer 911 advised the man allegedly attempted to throw the caller down a set of stairs, and an 8-year-old was present.

The complainant advised she was arguing with her husband, but he did not strike Her. He did allegedly grab her arm. Saddler reported he did not see any visible marks on her.

The complainant said she wanted her phone, keys, and money and that she was going back to North Carolina.

Horn located the alleged victim and his daughter and transported them back to the residence. The alleged suspect reported the complainant grabbed him near his neck, but Saddler also reported he could not see any marks on the man.

The complainant then packed her child’s items into her car. The alleged suspect gave her $40 for the trip to North Carolina, and while she packed her items, officers noted she became very belligerent. However, both parties reportedly declined to pursue criminal charges.

Officers reported advising them how to obtain domestic violence protective orders.