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Thieves Break into House in St. Albans, Second Time Since January

By: Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Olivia Fecteau Email

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- After $3,000 in cash and some of her belongings were stolen, Mary Rooper said she no longer feels safe -- and it's not the first time someone has broken into her house.

Rooper said the first burglary happened in January, just before her husband died. The second happened this week, when she and family members were at the cemetery where her husband is buried. Rooper said the cash stolen in this break-in was going to pay for her husband's headstone.

"We went to open the door and we found out that somebody had jammed my door open," Rooper said. "I first noticed my laptop was gone, my big-screen TV I just bought, it was, it had disappeared."

Some of the other missing items included four of her late husband's shotguns, as well as the $3,000 in cash that Rooper had tucked away in a box in a bedroom closet.

"They took everything," Rooper said. "They even took my birth certificates, his death certificates and everything was on top [of] the money. They took the whole box."

She said she's shaken up and scared by this second break-in.

Rooper told WSAZ.com she had just started to get back to normal after the first break-in and her husband's death.

"I'm just now getting used to being alone, cause he was with me 24/7," Rooper said. "Everything was just getting back to, thinking of surviving and everything and this happens."

While they're not sure who broke in this time, St. Albans Police and Rooper agree that the person or people responsible may have been familiar with the house.

"They even fixed a ham sandwich before they left," Rooper said, "and drank a Pepsi. It was on the table."

Despite the Neighborhood Watch sign planted near Rooper's front yard, she said she does not feel safe in her neighborhood.

"Two vacant houses -- I've got that one for sale and this one's empty," Rooper, who is a real estate agent, said, motioning across a side street. "A young couple [lives] here, and they work and they get home at six at night. A widow woman there, and one here next door."

Rooper said she will have to get a security system or move away from the neighborhood.

"But if it's somebody that knows me, they'll follow me no matter what," Rooper said.

St. Albans Police say they are trying to track down the laptop and TV stolen from Rooper's house, but because they don't know the serial numbers, they say it's a difficult task. Tracing those electronics could lead to an eventual arrest.

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