Parking meter bandits arrested
by JEFFREYREYNOLDS SPORTSEDITOR
WILLIAMSON — Three individuals are now under arrest and charged with two counts each of felony destruction of property, petit larceny and conspiracy following their arrests for breaking into Williamson City parking meters, on two separate occasions.
According to information provided by Williamson Police Chief C.D. Rockel, Billy Eugene Varney, 36, and Deborah Ann Harris (Varney), 27, both of Stone, Ky., along with Harold Wolford, 47, of Williamson signed confessions admitting to destroying and defacing property not belonging to them, identified as four double-parking meters located on Logan Street and on 2nd Avenue, valued at $2,500 apiece.
Chief Rockel stated that Harris would act as a lookout for the two males that were observed using a crow bar to break into the meters, then removing the change from within. The trio then traveled to Walmart at Goody, Ky., where they were viewed on video utilizing the Coin Star change machine to exchange the quarters for cash. The defendants were recorded purchasing groceries and gasoline with the stolen money.
“They only got a total of $100 or so, the definite amount has not been determined, we’re waiting on the report from the Coin Star owners to provide that information,” stated Rockel. “What makes this crime a felony is the cost to replace the parking meters, which exceeds $10,000.”
The crimes occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 15 and 19, near the First National Bank location on Logan Street and the medical office of Dr. D. Beckett on 2nd Avenue.
“Luckily for us, a person who lives in this area looked out their window and seen the crime take place, and was familiar with the defendants and provided us a positive identification,” said the chief. “This goes to show that the public is getting fed up with the crime rate in our town and are stepping forward to do something about it.”
“We encourage anyone who has information regarding a crime or suspicious activity within city limits to call Mingo County 911, or our office at 304-235-2570.”
All three defendants were arraigned before Mingo Magistrate Pam Newsome and were each remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail on a $3,000 bond, and are scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court next week for preliminary hearings in this matter.
“We don’t take any crimes lightly,” stated Rockel. “If you break the law, you will be arrested.”
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