By RACHEL C. DOVE
NEWSOME RIDGE - A police chase that began in Wayne County and ended in Mingo resulted in the suspect abandoning his vehicle and fleeing on foot. However, once law enforcement checked the vehicle and began their investigation, it was found to be linked to an unsolved August 2011 grand larceny case with a Williamson attorney and her father listed as the victims.
According to the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department incident report, the case involving Ronnie Davis, 44, of Stone Coal Road near the community of Crum, began on August 15 of last year when Mingo County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Maynard reported that a boat and trailer belonging to her father, Gary Hall, had been stolen from her residence at Naugatuck.
MCSD Sgt. Joe Smith headed up the investigation, and was successful in getting a description of the vehicle involved in the crime, a white Chevrolet full-size truck.
Smith interviewed a witness who said that he had stopped to offer assistance to a man at Marrowbone who had lost a boat off a trailer. The witness relayed to Smith that he was driving up Marrowbone when he almost collided with a boat that was blocking the roadway. He said that the man was driving a 1995 to 1997 white Chevrolet Silverado extended-cab Z-71 pickup with damage to the driver’s side and camouflage seat covers. A physical description of the man was also provided.
The man was said to have hooked the boat to his truck without the trailer, pulling it on the roadway which created extensive damage. The boat and trailer were both recovered from a spot in high weeds where attempts were made to conceal them. The boat was listed as a total loss, with an estimated replacement price of $1,500. Smith had been on the lookout for the vehicle and defendant since that time, but had not received a break in the case until this week.
On Wednesday, West Virginia State Police Jason Drake with the Wayne County Detachment marked in pursuit of a white, extended-cab Chevrolet Silverado truck at Jennies Creek in Wayne County that was heading into Mingo. The trooper couldn’t take his cruiser into a creek that the defendant drove through, and had to abandon pursuit.
MCSD Sgt. Smith, Corporal N. Mines, Deputy B. Moore and Deputy S. Smith along with WVSP Sgt. Johnson from Wayne and Troopers Matheny and Moore from Williamson joined the chase, and entered the Newsome Ridge location from the rear where the suspect was last seen. The vehicle was located, but the driver had fled the scene. The deputies quickly realized the truck perfectly matched the description of the one involved in the theft of the boat and trailer.
Thursday morning, Smith was notified that the driver of the truck was Ronnie Davis.
The officer, accompanied by WVSP Sgt. Johnson, traveled to M&M Auto at Gray Eagle where Davis is employed. They questioned the defendant, who allegedly admitted to the boat theft. Davis told Smith that on the day the theft occurred, he was driving around, drinking beer, and observed the boat and trailer sitting in the Naugatuck yard and proceeded to pull his truck up to it, attached the trailer, and left the scene. He also admitted to leaving the stolen property in the grassy bottom on Newsome Ridge after the boat became detached from the trailer and was damaged.
Davis was arraigned in Wayne County Magistrate Court on charges of fleeing vehicle, driving on suspended license for reasons of DUI, improper registration, no insurance, no MVI and the grand larceny charge from Mingo.
Davis is incarcerated in the Western Regional Jail in Cabell County on a $10,000 bond.