GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- One of several charges against a man accused of crimes in Gallia and Lawrence Counties has been dismissed.
During a hearing in the Gallipolis Municipal Court on Wednesday, a breaking and entering charge against Billy Wiles was dismissed without prejudice so the case can be presented to the grand jury.
The charge stems back to a breaking and entering at the Crown City Fire Department earlier this month. Detectives were able to connect Wiles to the crime, thanks to pawn shops in the area, who said Wiles brought in items that were stolen from the department.
Wiles talked to WSAZ.com earlier this month and he told us the items fell out of a truck, he found them, and took them to a pawn shop. He also blamed his crimes on drug abuse.
Wiles is also facing theft and drug charges and will be in court in Gallia County on those charges in April.
Wiles, 23, of Crown City, Ohio, and Julian Russell, 31, of Chesapeake, Ohio, are also charged with breaking and entering and tampering with evidence for a crime committed at Monty's Pizza in Chesapeake earlier this month.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest with this story.
It didn't take long to track both of them down. On Monday, one of the suspects even spoke with us behind bars.
Billy Wiles was pretty straightforward about why he said he committed the crime. He didn't hesitate; he blamed it on drugs.
Wiles, 23, of Crown City, Ohio, and Julian Russell, 31, of Chesapeake, Ohio, were arrested Saturday. Both are charged with two counts of breaking and entering and two counts of tampering with evidence. That's just the beginning for Wiles, but he says the cases against him are not clear.
The surveillance video was crystal clear, showing two men walk into the Monty's Pizza shop in Chesapeake, Ohio. While they tried to destroy the cameras, they missed a few. Those few captured them close up, leading to a quick trip to jail.
“It's one thing to say you didn't do, and it's another thing to have video showing you do it,” WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline said during the interview with Wiles.
“I didn't say I didn't do it, I didn't break in," Wiles said. "I may have walked in, but I didn't break in nowhere."
Wiles may dispute breaking in since it's outside and off camera. But, there's no denying the entering or taking things.
“Why did you take things while you were in there?” Cline asked.
“I got a drug problem,” Wiles said.
But, this isn't the only breaking and entering Wiles is accused of. Two days before the Monty's break-in, the Crown City Volunteer Fire Department was broken into.
Samp Johnson, a volunteer at the fire department, says the theft set them back quite a bit -- from stolen copper outside to some cash and stolen leaf blowers inside.
“They was in the back of this truck. Of course, they're back in there now,” Johnson said.
A quick call by firefighters to local pawn shops tracked down the leaf blowers and the person who brought them in -- Wiles.
“You found some blowers?” Cline asked.
“Yeah, looked like they fell out of the back of someone's truck and I took them to the pawn shop. Yeah, I didn't have no reason to hide ‘em,” Wiles said.
“So, you didn't steal them?” Cline asked.
“No,” he responded.
“You blame it all on drugs?" Cline asked.
“Yeah, I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't messed up on drugs,” Wiles said.
We spoke with the owner of Monty's Pizza to get his take on Wiles' rationalization of his actions. He says blaming things on drugs is always a convenient excuse for people accused of wrongdoing.
For now, Wiles will remain in jail in Gallia County to deal with the charges there first. Then, he’ll head to Lawrence County to face the charges in the Monty’s break-in.
As for the other suspect, Russell, it turns out he is out of jail in Cabell County, W.Va., on bond. Huntington Police say Russell used a stolen credit card to buy about $700 worth of items at a number of places last summer.
Surveillance video from the Walmart located along U.S. 60 near Huntington shows Russell using a stolen credit card. He was arrested in that case and charged with fraudulent use of an access device and forgery.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning tells WSAZ.com that Bill Wiles, 23, of Crown City, is charged breaking and entering and receiving stolen property for breaking into the Crown City Fire Department last week.
Browning tells WSAZ.com that Wiles stole chain saws, copper pipe, leaf blowers and propane tanks from the department.
Wiles, along with Julian Russell are also charged with two counts of B&E and two counts of tampering with evidence for a recent break-in at Monty's Pizza in Chesapeake.
Both men are expected to be in court Monday for their charges in Lawrence County.
An investigation by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department led to the arrest of Billy Wiles, 23, of Crown City, Ohio and Julian Russell, 31, of Chesapeake, Ohio. Both men have been charged with two counts of breaking and entering and two counts of tampering with evidence.
Wiles is now being held in the Gallia County Jail on an unrelated warrant. Russell is currently being held in the Lawrence County jail, and is set to appear in Lawrence County Municipal Court Monday.
But, if these men thought they sneaked in and out under the cloak of darkness, they'd better think again. This entire heist was caught on tape.
From the moment they broke into the back door until the minute they left with some unusual loot, surveillance cameras caught all 16 minutes of their antics.
“This is where they seen the infrared light,” said Marvin Wilburn, owner of Monty’s Pizza.
It was shortly after midnight Wednesday morning when two men broke into the Monty's Pizza in Chesapeake, Ohio, and they weren't trying to cure the late night munchies.
“They see a camera and break it,” Wilburn said.
After breaking one camera, one of the thieves noticed a second camera. In the process of adjusting it, he missed a third camera that captures a near perfect image of his face.
From there, the two men hit the cash register -- grabbing everything inside. Then, they rummage under the counter for a while before breaking into and cleaning out four game machines.
“This is the claw machine, and they're going into the game room where there are three machines,” Wilburn said.
He showed us the damage up close.
“One guy in the back, you hear him call out 'June,' not sure it's a nickname,” Wilburn said.
The guys come back to the counter area to steal a laptop, chargers and one more bizarre grab.
“This is where he takes the bag with the Monty's logo on it and goes to the pop machine to get drinks for the road,” Wilburn said. “You gotta be one of those stupid criminals.”
Further proof of that -- there's one last careless mistake as one of the suspects looked right at the camera.
“At least he smiled for the camera before he left,” Wilburn said. “I just hope someone recognizes them and turns them in.”
“What do you want to say to these guys,” WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline asked.
“Smile, you're on camera,” Wilburn said.
The video is pretty clear. Anyone who knows these men will recognize them. Marvin estimates hundreds of dollars in cash and quarters was stolen and thousands of dollars in damage done to the back door and game machines.
If folks have any information, they can call the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office at 740-867-3157.