Cops and Courts

Westover police catch alleged copper thieves at the scene

Two men have been taken into custody after Westover police found them removing copper wiring from a residence on Fairmont Road in Westover.

Officers responded to the home on Feb. 11 at around 6 p.m., after a caller reported that two males were taking everything out of the house and were not supposed to be there, according to criminal complaints.

Patrolman Dugan and Patrolman Manley, of the Westover Police Department, were the first to arrive on the scene and reported that two males in a blue Hyundai Tucson were “trying to leave the scene in as expedient a manner as possible,” the complaints said.

Patrolman Gloshen, also with the Westover Police Department, arrived on-scene shortly after Dugan and Manley, who were speaking with the two men, identified as Oliver Alivie Cole Jr., 53, of Morgantown, and Anthony Robinson Mason, 53, of Westover.

Gloshen spoke with Cole, who said they were there to pick up some copper from the residence to strip and clean and take into a location that buys scrap metal, and that he had the permission of the owner to be there.  

According to the complaints, Cole was unable to contact the owner or provide evidence of any kind that would prove the men were authorized to be on that property, at that time, collecting copper.  Cole also told officers he was the one retrieving the copper wiring while Mason waited in the car.  Mason confirmed this by also telling officers he waited in the car while Cole retrieved the wiring.

Officers attempted to contact the homeowner while on-scene but were unable to reach him.  Gloshen wrote in the complaints that Cole offered to put the copper wires back at the residence, which he did, and left them at the rear door entrance of the residence.  The officer then told Cole and Mason they were free to leave the scene on foot, as neither had a valid driver’s license.

After the men left the scene, Manley and Gloshen watched as they both circled back to the residence several times.  Gloshen then left the scene to try to contact the homeowner again, while Manley remained on scene.

According to the complaints, Gloshen said he was able to reach the homeowner at about 6:45 p.m. and he told the officer that he had not given anyone permission to be at the residence to retrieve copper.

Gloshen called Manley, who was still on the scene, to have him contact the two men if they circled back to the area again.  Just after 7 p.m., Gloshen and Manley took Cole and Mason into custody and transported them to the Westover Police Department for processing, and then to the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department for transport to the regional jail.

Cole was charged with burglary and Mason was charged as an accessory.  Both men have since posted a $10,000 bond.  They are scheduled for preliminary hearings in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on Feb. 22.

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