CLEARFIELD – A West Virginia man accused of burglarizing a local construction site waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
James Ashby is charged with burglary, two counts of criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and public drunkenness.
According to court records on May 17 at 1:18 a.m., police were called to the Budget Inn on US Route 322 for a report of people destroying a room. Officers spoke with one of the occupants who indicated that “Jimmy” had entered the room and kicked a dresser, knocking cans to the floor. He said that Jimmy left the room on foot. Police spoke with the man’s supervisor to learn Jimmy’s last name; the supervisor told them it was Ashby.
Officer then began a foot patrol to try and locate Ashby. One officer witnessed Ashby walking across the street along the tree line at Lock Haven University – Clearfield Campus. Police confronted Ashby and noticed him carrying two black plastic cases and a fire extinguisher.
Police noted that it was odd for someone to be carrying a fire extinguisher in the early morning hours and asked him what he was doing with it. Ashby reportedly told police that he went to Lock Haven – Clearfield and took it. He was also asked about the two black cases, and he told police that he took them from the campus as well. He was then placed under arrest.
Police took those items, as well as other items found on Ashby, back to the Budget Inn to ask his roommate if he recognized the items. His roommate told police they might have been from their work equipment; their supervisor told police that they did not belong to the company they worked for.
Ashby was then placed in Clearfield County Jail until he was sober enough for arraignment.
Police then went back to Lock Haven – Clearfield to check out the construction trailers. Police noticed that two trailers had open doors. They checked one door and found that it had been pried open. They also noticed a spot on the wall that was missing a fire extinguisher. Police also noticed muddy footprints, and noted that Ashby had muddy shoes.
At the other trailer, police noted that while there was an open door, sawdust on the floor was undisturbed.
Police reported that the estimated cost of the items removed is close to $9,000. All items were recovered.