Elkins man arrested for alleged generator theft

An Elkins man was arrested Sunday for allegedly stealing another man’s generator from his storage unit – and then selling it for $75.

Joshua Lee Watson, 20, was charged with one felony count of burglary after he allegedly stole a gasoline generator belonging to Ronald Lester and then sold it to another individual for $75 sometime prior to May 18.

According to the criminal complaint in the Randolph County Magistrate Clerk’s Office, on May 18, Lester noticed the lock to his storage unit – located at Absolute Storage on Route U.S. 33 in Randolph County – had been cut. After taking stock of his items, Lester realized his UST GG1350-watt gasoline generator had been removed, the complaint states.

According to the police report, which was prepared by Deputy R.H. Pitcher with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, the same generator was later located in the back of a pickup truck belonging to another individual. During a June 8 interview, the pickup truck owner told police Watson had sold him the generator for $75. Lester identified the generator in the back of the pickup truck as the one that had been removed from his storage unit.

The West Virginia State Police apparently obtained video surveillance of the storage unit from May 8 that allegedly showed a person Watson told officers “could be” him.

“There is video surveillance at the incident location on May 8, 2013 at approximately (11:18 p.m.),” Pitcher wrote in the complaint, “and the (state police) interviewed Watson and Watson stated to Sgt. (P.B.) Cork that it could be him on the video surveillance.”

The police report notes that Watson “was in possession of the generator after it was stolen then sold.”

Magistrate Rob Elbon arraigned Watson Sunday, setting bond at $20,000 cash or surety. Watson is free on bond.

The penalty for a conviction of burglary is one to 10 years in the state penitentiary.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at kkuba@theintermountain.com.