UPDATE | Car break-ins from Putnam and Fayette counties could be linked
Investigators say video cameras helped them connect vehicle break-ins that happened Sunday in Fayette County and Monday in Putnam County.
The crimes were linked after both county sheriff's departments discovered the items stolen and break-in methods were similar. But there was another reason these counties were connected in the crimes.
Both locations are more than 50 miles apart.
"Its kind of abnormal that they range across such a large geographical area," said Putnam County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Eric Hayzlett.
Two suspects worked together to punch in windows of five cars in Fayette County, grabbing phones, wallets and a GPS. Then a man went into a Kroger to buy $2,000 worth of prepaid gift cards. He was able to buy $1,000 worth of gift cards before being caught on surveillance footage walking out of the store.
Monday, the female suspect was caught on surveillance footage trying to cash a check at a bank in Teays Valley after the two had allegedly performed more break-ins in Putnam County. According to the Fayette County Sheriff's Department, the check had the same name as the card used to buy the gift cards, linking the two crimes.
The break-ins happened at churches and parking lots during daylight, and Hayzlett said these areas are easy to get to and, although it is daytime, people are still not going to see a break-in.
Hayzlett encouraged people to lock cars and park in well-lit areas.
"Try and make it as unattractive as possible, double check and make sure it's locked. Don't leave valuables in the car especially in plain site. Park in well-lit areas," he said. "The biggest thing is leaving things our where they can see it because even in well-lit areas, very public places, they'll smash a window out and grab a purse."
Both sheriff's departments are working together to find the suspects associated with this case. If you have any information, you're asked to call either the Fayette or Putnam County sheriff's departments.
Deputies need your help finding two people who they say are connected to vehicle break-ins in two West Virginia counties.
The pair also used a stolen credit card and attempted to cash a forged check, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department says.
Investigators say several break-ins happened Sunday in Fayette County, while others happened Monday in Putnam County.
Deputies say a man who was involved tried to use a stolen credit card at the Kroger store in Oak Hill shortly after the Sunday incidents.
A woman who they say is believed to be an accomplice tried to cash a forged check at the United Bank in Teays Valley.
Law enforcement agencies in both counties are working together in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Fayette County Sheriff’s investigators at 304-574-3590 or 304-574-4216.