Footprints left in snow lead to burglary arrest

ELKINS – An Elkins man described by police as a convicted felon has been arrested and charged with burglary of a residence.

David Leary, 48, who reportedly had been doing work in the home of an Elkins couple, was arrested in connection with a break-in at the house and the theft of a revolver and shotgun, according to police.

The couple reported that when they returned home at about 8 p.m. Jan. 4, they discovered that a dining room window had been broken out. They also found mud on the floor near the window.

They said they called 911 and then discovered that a stainless steel Smith and Wesson .38 Special revolver was missing from on top of their refrigerator. They later also discovered that a double-barrel shotgun was missing from the kitchen.

Police arrived, searched the house and failed to find an intruder. But they did find boot prints in the snow outside the window.

The couple told police about Leary doing some work for them and said he knew where the revolver had been kept, according to the criminal complaint.

Police found Leary at his apartment and questioned him. They said he denied any knowledge of the incident and said he had not left his apartment that day. Police found a pair of camouflage boots in the apartment, and the treads matched the boot prints in the snow at the couple’s house, according to the


Another man living in the apartment told police that Leary had been gone for about three hours and had returned with a silver revolver and double-barrel shotgun.

According to the complaint, Leary eventually told police that he had sold the guns for $50. Police retrieved the weapons.

Leary is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm, police say.

He was arraigned by Chief Magistrate Ben Shepler and is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.