UPDATE: 3 arrested/ 4 wanted in Fayette County burglaries - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: 3 arrested/ 4 wanted in Fayette County burglaries

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Kerr Cole Kerr Cole
Shawn Dixon Shawn Dixon
Desiree Gray Desiree Gray

UPDATE:

Jackie Lee Simms, one of the suspects wanted in connection with residential burglaries in the New Haven area, has made arrangements to turn himself in to Sheriff’s Deputies later today.  Sheriff’s Deputies are continuing to search for the other three individuals wanted in connection with these crimes- Michael Wesley Grimmett, Ralph Allen Crowe and Randy Lee Billups.  Photos of these three individuals are attached to this press release.  

(NEWS RELEASE

Several individuals have been arrested in connection with residential burglaries in the New Haven area and Sheriff’s Deputies are searching for additional suspects at this time.  Sheriff Steve Kessler released the following information concerning these arrests: 

 Since June 24, 2015 the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the West Virginia State Police have received reports of multiple residential burglaries in the Hico and Lavista areas of Fayette County.  Although some of these burglaries occurred during daylight hours, many of them occurred at night and were committed while the residents were asleep in their homes.  The thieves have primarily targeted firearms, tools and money in this series of thefts. 

In following up on leads on these residential burglaries, Deputies were able to identify several suspects and gather enough information to obtain criminal arrest warrants.  Earlier this afternoon Deputies from the Danese Detachment of the Sheriff’s Office began executing these warrants.  The following individuals have been arrested in connection with these residential burglaries: 

  1. Shawn Randal Dixon, age 40, of Ansted was arrested and charged with the felony offenses of Burglary, Grand Larceny, Conspiracy to Commit a Felony and Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm. 
  2. Kerr David Cole, Jr., also known as “K.D.” Cole, age 44, of Ansted was arrested and charged with the felony offenses of Receiving and Transferring Stolen Property and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony.  (Cole will also be facing additional charges of Operating a Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratory in connection with an unrelated incident.)
  3. Desiree Nikole Gray, age 19, of Ansted was arrested and charged with the felony offenses of Receiving and Transferring Stolen Property and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. 

     All three suspects are currently being processed and will then be arraigned in the Magistrate Court of Fayette County.  Deputies are continuing to search for the following suspects: 

  1. Michael Wesley Grimmett, age 32, of Ansted is wanted for the felony offenses of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony and Prohibited Person in Possession of a firearm and for the misdemeanor offense of Receiving and Transferring Stolen Property.  Grimmett is described as a white male, 6-01, 195 pounds, with blue eyes and blonde hair. 
  2. Ralph Allen Crowe, age 37, of Danese is wanted for the felony offenses of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony and Distribution of a Controlled Substance and for the misdemeanor offense of Receiving and Transferring Stolen Property.  Crowe is described as a white male, 5-09, 220 pounds, with green eyes.  He is known to drive a dark blue or purple 2003 Ford Ranger pickup truck with WV registration OYU 106. 
  3. Jackie Lee Simms, age 34, of the Hilton Village area of Fayette County is wanted for the felony offenses of Receiving and Transferring Stolen Property and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony.  Simms is described as a white male, 5-08, 205 pounds, with green or hazel eyes and brown hair.
  4. Randy Lee Billups, age 40, of Ansted is wanted for the felony offenses of Burglary, Grand Larceny and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony.  Billups is described as a white male, 5-11, 210 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. 

NOTE:  Photos of Dixon, Cole and Gray are included as attachments to this press release.  No photos of the four suspects remaining at large are available at this time.  As soon as photographs of these suspects are available, they will be released in an update to this press release. 

     “Not all of these individuals are believed to have been actively involved in these residential burglaries,” said Sheriff Kessler.  “In some cases the suspects were allegedly involved in related criminal activity such as Receiving and Transferring Stolen Property- the suspects are alleged to have either sold some of the stolen items and/or traded these items for controlled substances.”  Sheriff Kessler went on to add, “Without a market for stolen goods- someone willing to buy these stolen items, usually for a fraction of their true value- then there is substantially less incentive for individuals to engage in crimes of theft.  If you buy stolen property, you’re just as guilty as the person who stole it in the first place.  If you trade drugs for stolen property, that’s the same as if you purchased the stolen property, and you will potentially face charges of drug distribution as well.”   

     Sheriff Kessler went on to caution residents of Fayette County to be alert for deals that seem too good to pass up.  “Everyone likes to get a good deal on purchases,” said Sheriff Kessler.  “If you’re offered an opportunity to purchase firearms, tools or other valuable items for a fraction of their true value, however, you need to be aware that there is a strong possibility that you are purchasing stolen goods.  If you’re caught knowingly buying stolen goods then you will be arrested and prosecuted for this crime.  That ‘good deal’ really isn’t worth it in the end.”  If you do purchase firearms, tools or other property from a private individual, it’s always a good idea to keep a record of the date, time and location where you made the purchase, and the identity of the seller, including their name, date of birth, address, telephone number and, if possible, a copy or photograph of their driver’s license or ID card.  It is also a good idea to make the seller sign a Bill of Sale.  If anyone believes that he or she may have inadvertently purchased items that may be stolen, they are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible. 

     Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Harrah added, “The Sheriff’s Office has been in close consultation with my office during this ongoing investigation.  The preliminary investigation indicates that these crimes were most likely drug-related.  When I was appointed as the Prosecuting Attorney of Fayette County I pledged to make the prosecution of drug crimes a priority for my office and I certainly intend to do so in this case.  At least two of these criminal suspects have already been convicted of multiple felony crimes- one was only recently released from prison- and they have continued to prey on the citizens of Fayette County.  It is my intention to aggressively prosecute these crimes and, if criminal convictions are obtained in these cases, to pursue the filing of appropriate recidivist actions against these career criminals.” 

     This series of crimes remains under investigation by Sergeant T.N. Mooney and Deputy R.V. Neal of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.  If anyone has any information concerning this series of crimes, or any information concerning the location of any of the suspects remaining at large, they are urged to contact the Fayette County 911 Center at (304) 574-3590 or Crime Stoppers at (304) 255-7867.  You may also submit tips through our department Facebook page, “Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.” 

Authorized for Release, July 28, 2015

Steve W. Kessler, Sheriff of Fayette County 

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