Three sought in Meigs burglaries

By Lindsay Kriz -

Aubrey Williamson

Aubrey Williamson

Courtesy photos

Josh Pauley

Courtesy photos

Matthew E. Johnson

Courtesy photos

MEIGS COUNTY — Warrants have been issued for three people in the case of a recent string of burglaries reported around Tuppers Plains, Racine and Chester, according to the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.

The three warrants are for Josh Pauley, 25, of New Haven, W.Va.; Aubrey Williamson, 23, of Southside, W.Va.; and Matthew E. Johnson, 35, of Bidwell, Ohio. Pauley and Williamson are wanted for burglary, while Johnson is listed as having an involvement with the crimes. He also has other active warrants from Meigs County Common Pleas Court for alleged breaking and entering.

Both Williamson and Pauley are believed to be in Pauley’s silver four-door 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GT with West Virginia license plate number 1KC602. The car also has window vents on all four doors and a sunroof.

Deputies believe that Pauley and Williamson are staying in the Parkersburg area. Anyone with information should contact their local law enforcement office or the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office directly at 740-992-3371.

Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood also said that many of the stolen items have since been recovered, with contact made with the victims so that they could properly identify the items, including jewelry that was sold to area Cashlands and pawn shops in the Parkersburg area.

The cases started in late August, with the most recent reported case in late September. During this time, burglaries were reported around Tuppers Plains, Racine and Chester, Wood said.

The most recent buglary reported by the sheriff’s office took place Sept. 24 when they received a call from Connie Little on Pleasant View Road in Racine. Little told officers that her house had been broken into sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and said that the garage walk-through door was open and the door leading into the house was open. When officers arrived, they found that the door to the living area from the garage had been pried open.

Stolen items included firearms, a flat-screen television, coins, jewelry, tools and a caddy bag. Deputies learned from Little that a neighbor was able to get video of the suspect’s vehicle, which is a silver Pontiac Grand Prix four-door. A blonde female and a dark-haired male were spotted in the vehicle, which did not have a front license plate and appears to have a sunroof. This video was taken to the Ohio Attorney General’s Organized Crime Investigative Unit in an attempt to get a license plate number from the vehicle.

A day before, on Sept. 23, deputies received a burglary call from Michelle Varney on State Route 681 in Reedsville. Varney said that Jason Carleton was mowing at Varney’s residence when he noticed her front door open and a back window open with the screen on the ground. Deputies arrived and discovered that several items were missing, including firearms, jewelry, lap top computer and coins, along with a pillow case that was possibly used to carry the items out. Deputies talked with neighbors, who saw a silver Pontiac with a blonde female driver in the area several times. Many items were dusted for possible prints.

A previous incident occurred Sept. 22 when the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call about a burglary in progress on Townsend Road in Scipio Township.

Deputies responded to the Stanley residence after a neighbor observed a suspicious vehicle in the area drove by their home several times. Shortly afterward, the same car was seen on the side of the road with the trunk open. When the neighbor asked the man beside the vehicle what he was doing, he said he was checking on his tires.

As the neighbor began to take photos of the vehicle before the man left the scene, they heard someone yell from the woods. At that time, Dorothy Morgan, 29, of Albany, allegedly came out of the woods. She said that she had been to Ed Stanley’s residence to retrieve a car title. At that time, the man in the car, believed to be Ricky Gibbs, 45, of Middleport, came back, picked up Morgan and left. The neighbor went to Ed Stanley’s residence and made contact with Stanley about what was happening. It was at this time that Stanley discovered he had two firearms missing from his residence. Officers have since returned the firearms to Stanley.

Meigs County Deputy Jeff Perry was able to locate and interview Morgan a few days later. He also allegedly received a confession from Morgan relevant to the burglary of Stanley’s residence. This case will be submitted to the Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office for grand jury consideration.

Two days prior, on Sept. 20, Gordon Hellwig, on State Route 7 in Reedsville, told deputies that his home had been broken into that morning while and he and others were at church. Suspects broke in through a rear window and stole several items, including a firearm with a holster, coins, knives, jewelry, personal papers and a pillow case. Deputies attempted to dust for fingerprints but were not able to get any useful prints. Deputies made contact with neighbors, but no one said anything was out of the ordinary at the time.

Shirley Hawk, on Kaylor Road in Reedsville, called deputies, Sept. 18, and said that her home had been broken into sometime that morning. Items stolen included a television, firearms, coins, jewelry and a camera. Deputies report that this burglary was similar to others in the area as a pillow case was missing from the house.

Nine days earlier, on Sept. 9, deputies responded to a call from Ken Ritchie, of Locust Grove Road in Long Bottom, about another burglary. After returning to his home from being out for a few hours, Ritchie found that someone had entered his home. He also discovered a pillow without a pillow case on one of the bedroom floors in the house. Also lying on the floor were jewelry boxes, a bow case and bow. Ritchie waited for deputies to arrive and a dog was called to pick up a track. Deputies believed Ritchie may have arrived home while the burglars were still in his home and that they fled, leaving those items on the floor. After later inspection of his home, Ritchie also discovered an undetermined amount of cash was missing.

Deputies learned that a neighbor in the area had seen a silver Pontiac Grand Am or Pontiac Grand Prix pulling out of Ritchie’s driveway with a blonde-haired female. The witness said the female drove away toward State Route 7, acting suspiciously.

On Sept. 1, 2015, Kathleen Miller, of State Route 7 in Reedsville, had her home broken into during the day. According to the sheriff’s office, the suspects had broken a window and entered Miller’s home. Items stolen included firearms, a crossbow and jewelry. An arrow was also found along the wood line.

The first of these burglary cases released by the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office was reported Aug. 25. The report came from Joan Powers, of State Route 248 in Long Bottom. Powers said that while her family was away from their home, someone entered through a rear window and stole firearms, coins, jewelry, camping chairs, extension cords, carpenter levels and a trail camera.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.

Aubrey Williamson Williamson Courtesy photos

Josh Pauley Pauley Courtesy photos

Matthew E. Johnson E. Johnson Courtesy photos

By Lindsay Kriz