Two facing felony charges
ELKINS — A man and woman are facing felony theft charges after being spotted during routine traffic patrol.
Jenna Marie Bennett, 27, of Beckley, and Taylor Matthew Cook, 32, of Marlinton, are both charged with receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. Bond was set for Cook and Bennett at $25,000 each by Randolph County Magistrates Ben Shepler and Mike Dyer, respectively.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Trooper R.C. Watson of the West Virginia State Police, at about 9:05 a.m. Tuesday the officer was conducting routine road patrol on Randolph Avenue when he observed a red Chevy Cobalt with West Virginia registration O2K347. The report states that the car contained a male driver and female passenger and that Watson began to follow the vehicle.
Watson saw that the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and then conducted a status check on the license plate through WVSP Elkins Communications, finding that the registration belonged to a stolen vehicle from Raleigh County, states the complaint; Watson then located the vehicle in the Davis Medical Center parking lot.
The report states that after the driver exited the vehicle, he was handcuffed and detained by Watson and identified as Taylor Matthew Cook. Afterward, Watson directed the female passenger to vacate the vehicle; she was also detained and identified as Jenna Marie Bennett, the report states.
Bennett then stated that the car belonged to her ex-boyfriend, to whom it had never been returned, says the report. Watson then conducted a status check on Bennett, finding that there was a joy riding warrant against her in Raleigh County.
Upon searching the vehicle, Watson found “approximately 1 gram of a clear crystal like substance consistent with methamphetamine inside of a white book bag that Ms. Bennett advised was hers,” states the report. Watson then placed both Cook and Bennett under arrest and transported them to the Elkins Detachment of the WVSP for processing.
“Ms. Bennett further stated that Mr. Cook knew the vehicle was stolen because she had told him,” Watson wrote.
If charged, Bennett and Cook each could be facing up to three years in prison.