Man charged with stealing bucket of copper

ELKINS – A Valley Bend man is facing a charge of burglary after allegedly taking a bucket of copper from a residence, police said.

Christopher Guy Ross, 36, was charged with one count of burglary, a felony, and was arraigned by Randolph County Magistrate George M. Riggleman on Sunday. Bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.

State police officials received a complaint from a man on March 24, who advised that he “went home for lunch and he noticed that the chain on his back door was hanging… broken,” according to the criminal


According to West Virginia State Trooper J.B. Tindal, the investigating officer who also wrote the complaint, said the man “began searching his residence to see if he had any items missing” and he eventually “noticed that a white five-gallon bucket filled with copper had been taken.” He told Tindal he “went to Elkins Iron & Metal and discovered that the missing copper had been sold to them earlier that morning,” the complaint reads.

The man said he got the copper from working at Davis Memorial Hospital and he “was able to identify the copper as his because he had cut it himself to special lengths,” the complaint states.

Later that afternoon, Tindal was able to locate and obtain the copper at Elkins Iron & Metal, where an employee told him a male subject sold it earlier in exchange for $42, according to the criminal complaint.

The man told Tindal that earlier Ross had asked if he could sell the copper for him because he left his identification in Parsons, the complaint reads. The man said he rode with Ross to Elkins Iron & Metal, saying he didn’t know the copper was stolen.

Also in Randolph County Magistrate Court:

– John Allen Cochran, 54, of Elkins, was charged with one count of forgery of a public document, a felony, and one count of driving under the influence, one count of loud exhaust and one count of providing false information to an officer, all misdemeanors.

Cochran was arraigned by Riggleman on Sunday. Bond was set at $15,000.

Tindal wrote in the criminal complaint he observed a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee pull across Davis Street toward Railroad Avenue in Elkins “with excessively loud exhaust.” According to the complaint, Cpl. M.S. Wetzel observed the behavior of the driver of the vehicle and “noticed the driver staring at his cruiser and appear(ed) to be hesitating to pull out.”

Wetzel initiated a traffic stop and, upon approaching the vehicle, he “smelled a strong odor consistent with alcohol emanating from the driver’s breath and observed the driver’s eyes to be glassy and bloodshot,” Tindal wrote. According to the complaint, Wetzel said the driver told him he did not have a driver’s license on his person and identified himself as “Burt Steven Cochran.”

Wetzel made the man perform three standard field sobriety tests, all of which he failed, according to the complaint. Wetzel placed Cochran under arrest and transported him to the Elkins Police Department to undergo further testing.

The complaint states that eventually Cochran was transported to the Elkins detachment of the West Virginia State Police, where he used some paper towels and appeared to be blowing his nose. However, after a short time, Cochran told Tindal and Wetzel that he “needed to be honest and… he was lying about his identity and threw his ID away in the trash can,” the complaint reads. Cochran was instructed to retrieve his identification and was then positively identified as John Allen Cochran.

Tindal wrote that Cochran “advised he was using his brother’s name and pertinent information because he thought his operator’s license was suspended through the state of Ohio.” After conducting a DMV license check, officers determined Cochran “was not