A Smyth County business owner and a North Carolina man have been arrested in connection to a string of burglaries in the Speedwell area of Wythe County.

Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan said in a release that the sheriff’s office had received several reports during the last month of break-ins at vacant residences and buildings in the Saint Peters Road area.

Maj. Anthony Cline said some of the targeted residences had belonged to people who had recently died. While deputies were talking to neighbors, Cline said, they noticed an air compressor that had been reported stolen on the front porch of one residence.

Investigators were able to identify 54-year-old James Clayton Weaver, of Henderson, North Carolina, as a suspect. Cline said Weaver was related to new residents in the area and had been staying there.

According to the release, Weaver told police that he had been taking the stolen property to Twisted Metal Towing & Recovery in Marion.

On Wednesday, Wythe and Smyth county deputies executed a search warrant at the Peirce Road towing company, where Cline said most of the stolen property was located.

Cline said deputies recovered more than $7,000 in stolen property, including lawn care equipment, air conditioning units, car parts, chainsaws, pressure washers and power tools.

Weaver was charged with four counts grand larceny, four counts larceny with intent to sell and one count obtaining money by false pretenses.

Twisted Metal owner Bobby Junior Haga, 51, was also arrested on two counts of receiving stolen property.

Cline said the recent thefts are not believed to be related to a Wythe, Smyth and Grayson theft ring shut down earlier this month.  He did note, however, that additional charges are possible against other individuals.

Dunagan and Cline extended their gratitude to the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office for its assistance in the investigation.

Saltville man faces meth-related charges

Also on Wednesday, local and federal authorities executed a search warrant at the Saltville residence of Paul Brian McGhee, 50.

According to a Smyth County Sheriff’s Office release, methamphetamine and evidence of distribution was seized from the 1034 E Main St, Saltville residence.  McGhee was charged with possession of a schedule I/II controlled substance, namely methamphetamine, with the intent to distribute. 

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