Trail of pawned items leads to theft arrests

Rachel Baldwin rbaldwin@civitasmedia.com

October 31, 2013

WILLIAMSON - Criminal complaints obtained from Mingo County Magistrate Court show that a series of thefts have occurred recently within Mingo County, and four defendants have been taken into custody on a variety of burglary and stolen merchandise related charges that were solved after the alleged criminals pawned the items at local businesses.

Harlin Blankenship, 37, of Williamson, was arrested by Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) Sgt. R.G. Messer on charges of receiving and transferring stolen goods. The report states that the defendant did take one Stihl brand MS660 chain saw valued at $1,200 belonging to Roger Bevins of Chattaroy, and then pawned it to Williamson Gun and Archery for $150. The officer was able to obtain the receipt for the sale, which was filled out in Blankenship’s name.

Blankenship was arraigned before Special Magistrate Kim Blair and was transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Michelle Lea Crabtree, 35, and Curtis Jessie Hatfield, 33, both of Delbarton, were taken into custody by Delbarton Police Chief D. Nunley and Patrolman J.T. McCown and charged with nighttime burglary, grand larceny and two counts of transferring stolen goods.

Chief Nunley documented in the complaint that Crabtree and Hatfield entered the home of Dennie Kirk during the night, and proceeded to steal a guitar, 40 case knives, 2 Rolex watches, 1 Compac brand laptop and jewelry valued at $4,600. The defendant did sell the items to Big Eagle Gun and Pawn in Chapmanville and Uncle Bill’s Pawn Shop (Williamson Gun and Archery) in Williamson.

The defendants were arraigned by Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome and released from custody after posting a $5,000 bond.

Christopher Spaulding, 33, of Williamson, was placed under arrest by Williamson Police Department Lt. G.P. Dotson and Patrolman J.D. Tincher after being charged with petit larceny.

The defendant is accused of unlawfully taking goods from the Williamson Housing Authority (a weed eater valued at $175). The stolen item was then pawned at Williamson Gun and Archery, who produced proof of the transaction for the officers.

Spaulding was arraigned by Magistrate Newsome and was released from custody on a $1,000 bond.