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Footprints lead to break-in suspect

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It didn't take Kanawha County sheriff's deputies long to track down the suspect in a breaking and entering Sunday.

The owner of Mazella Quarries on Oakhurst Drive near Charleston saw a man wearing camouflage, black boots and a beanie enter a trailer on the property Sunday. When the owner approached the trailer, the man took off through the woods, according to Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department.

Deputy Jeremy Hatfield and Cpl. Joshua Cochran went to the rock quarry and quickly spotted fresh bootprints in the snow, Humphreys said. Deputies tracked the suspect for about three miles before hitching up with South Charleston police and finding him at a home in South Charleston.

Tommy Edward Clark, 37, was wearing camouflage, black boots and a beanie when found at the house, Humphreys said. The soles of his boots matched the footprints in the snow, he said. Clark also had a pocket full of loose change.

Clark was arrested and charged with breaking and entering. He was also charged on an outstanding felony warrant for a previous breaking and entering.

According to a criminal complaint on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court, Clark allegedly told authorities he was running from police and broke into the trailer to get warm and make a pot of coffee.

According to the criminal complaint, the quarry owner told deputies that loose change had been taken from a desk in the trailer. He also said it looked like someone had tried to make a pot of coffee.

Clark was being held without bond on the previous charge at the South Central Regional Jail. Bond for the second alleged break-in was set at $10,000.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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