Bath police investigation nets burglary suspect
Mathew Ryan Wilson, 18, of Bradley Brook Lane, Hedgesville was arrested on January 2 on charges of burglary and grand larceny.
The arrest came after a two week investigation conducted by Berkeley Springs Police of a burglary committed the evening of December 19 at a Wilkes Street residence.
According to the criminal complaint filed with Magistrate Court, the homeowner had been gone most of the day. As she approached her house around 5:15 p.m., she noticed that a bedroom light was on.
After parking her vehicle and entering the house, the bedroom light had been turned off and the back door to the house left open.
Corporal Craig Pearrell received a call at 1:30 p.m. the following afternoon that a burglary had been committed at the Wilkes Street address.
When Pearrell responded to the call, the victim said she had gone through her bedroom and found her collection of old money and coins missing.
The missing items included; $2 bills, $1 silver certificates, $5 bills with red seals, a very old $20 bill, a large bottle bank full of state quarters, a treasure chest bank with Kennedy half dollars, Susan B. Anthony dollars and centennial quarters, Whitman coin books of quarters, a Whitman coin book of Standing Liberty half dollars, a coin book of Roosevelt dimes, extra seated dimes, tubes of dimes in a cigar box, West Virginia quarters, a roll of Buffalo nickels, George Washington gold dollars, John Adams gold dollars, Thomas Jefferson gold dollars, James Madison gold dollars, Utah D mint quarters, 45 rolls of state quarters in various containers, 20 silver dollars with dates ranging from 1800 – 1920, 15 Indian Head pennies dated from 1864 – 1905, and several rolls of quarters and dimes.
The victim told Pearrell that only three people knew the location of the money. One of the three was a young man, with whom the victim claimed to have had a recent dispute. He was identified as Mathew Ryan Wilson.
Pearrell alerted area banks and stores to be on the lookout for the money. He started receiving reports of the money being spent at convenience stores in Berkeley Springs and the Paw Paw area.
Pearrell obtained video surveillance tapes from the stores, and after viewing them, identified a suspect.
On December 27 Pearrell went to an apartment on North Washington Street where the suspect was thought to be staying. The apartment owner said the suspect was no longer staying there.
The next afternoon, Wilson turned himself into Police Chief James Minton at the Berkeley Springs Police Department.
According to police, Wilson confessed to stealing the coins and money and spending the money at various convenience stores.
Wilson was arraigned in Magistrate Court on January 2. Bond was set at $7,500, and he was transported to Eastern Regional Jail.
Some of the items have been recovered. The investigation is still ongoing, Minton said.