Man caught in the act of burglary in Fayette County - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Man caught in the act of burglary in Fayette County

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LOOKOUT (WVVA) - A Fayette County man was arrested Friday after police say he was caught in the act of burglary by a neighbor.

Michael Ray Clark Jr., 22, was charged with entering without breaking after allegedly attempting to burglarize a home in the Lookout area.

According to a release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Department, a neighbor who saw two individuals -- Clark and a juvenile -- enter the residence armed himself with a handgun and detained the two until police arrived.

The juvenile was released to her parents. She has not been charged at this time.

The house is undergoing renovations. No one was inside at the time of the incident.

Below is the full press release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Department:

A Fayette County Man has been arrested after being apprehended in the act of committing a residential burglary. Sheriff Steve Kessler released the following information concerning this arrest:

At approximately 9:34 am on Friday, June 14, 2013 notification was received through the Fayette County 911 Center of a burglary in progress at a residence located on Foster Hill Road in the Lookout area of Fayette County. The caller, who identified herself as a neighbor, stated that her husband had armed himself with a handgun and had gone to the residence to confront the suspects and hold them until law enforcement arrived at the scene.

When Deputies arrived at the scene approximately 12 minutes later they found the neighbor detaining the two suspects. The male suspect was identified as Michael Ray Clark, Jr., age 22, of Lookout. His female accomplice was a juvenile from the local area. Deputies obtained a statement from the neighbor, who stated that he was working in his garden when he observed these two individuals making entry into this residence. He then armed himself and confronted these individuals and held them until the police arrived at the scene. The residence was unoccupied at the time of this incident, as the owners of this residence are in the process of remodeling the residence. The residence was not locked and the suspects simply entered the residence through the front door. The preliminary investigation indicated that the suspects were seeking to obtain wiring from this residence.

Michael Ray Clark, Jr. was taken into custody and charged with the felony offense of Entering without Breaking. He was arraigned in the Magistrate Court of Fayette County and his bond was set at $7,500.00. His bond status is unknown at this time. The juvenile was released to her parents. No charges have been filed against the juvenile at this time, but it is anticipated that a juvenile petition will be filed with the Office of the Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney charging this juvenile with the felony offense of Entering without Breaking.

"A lot of folks seem to have the mistaken impression that if a residence or another type of structure is not occupied or is not currently being used that they can just enter and take whatever they want," said Sheriff Kessler. "The fact of the matter is, it is a crime to enter a building that you don't own without permission of the owner, and it is certainly a crime to take something that doesn't belong to you."

Sheriff Kessler went on to add, "This incident is a good example of neighbors watching out for one another. This homeowner knew that his neighbors were remodeling this residence and that these two suspects shouldn't be in there. While he could have just called 911 to report this crime and hoped that we could get there in time, the action that he took insured that these two suspects were quickly apprehended and charged. Citizens taking action like this to protect themselves and their neighbors from crime makes our job much easier."

This case remains under investigation by Sergeant S.M. Gray of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. He was assisted at the scene by Sergeant T.N. Mooney, Corporal J.E. Dempsey and Deputy R.D. Stephens and by an officer from the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Anyone having any information about residential burglaries or other crimes anywhere in the County is asked to contact the Fayette County Sheriff's Office at (304) 574-4216 or Crime Stoppers at (304) 255-7867, or you may submit a tip through either the Crime Tips section of the Sheriff's Office website, http://fayettesheriffwv.net/ or through our Department Facebook page, "Fayette County Sheriff's Department."

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