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Ohio man flees after allegedly shoplifting generator

A misdemeanor shoplifting turned into felony fleeing charges for an Ohio man in Monongalia County. 

Granville Police Sgt. R. Kerns was dispatched to the Harbor Freight Tools at University Town Centre Friday morning for a reported shoplifting. 

The suspect, later identified as Alexander Jonathan Graham, 31, of Ontario, Ohio, had allegedly stolen a generator and two boxes of gloves from the retailer, according to criminal complaints. 

Witnesses at the store stated Graham was seen loading the stolen items into a black GMC Acadia with West Virginia plates, then turning right out of the parking lot in the direction of Interstate 79. 

Shortly after, Westover Officer B. Scott saw the vehicle in the roundabout near the Rosie the Riveter Bridge which crosses I-79. 

Scott activated his lights and sirens and caught up to the vehicle, which was now heading southbound on the interstate. 

According to Scott’s report, upon catching the vehicle, the driver quickly merged onto the exit 152 off-ramp in Westover, nearly hitting another vehicle in the process. 

Continuing to flee, Scott said Graham then turned northbound on Fairmont Road but didn’t get far — Sgt. Kerns and Lt. Morgan of Westover PD were waiting with a roadblock.  

Graham was forced to stop and exit the vehicle, where he was subsequently taken into custody by Scott. 

Graham was charged with misdemeanor shoplifting and fleeing from law enforcement with reckless indifference, a felony. 

If convicted, he faces up to $500 in fines or up to 60 days in jail for shoplifting and up to $2,000 in fines and one-to-five years in prison for the felony fleeing charge. 

Graham is being held at North Central Regional Jail on cash bonds totaling $30,000. 

TWEET @DominionPostWV