SHINNSTON, W.Va. -- A former Shinnston police chief has been charged with stealing two fully automatic M-16 assault rifles from his former employer, the latest blow to a small West Virginia community whose police department has been hit with multiple scandals.
The West Virginia State Police has charged Donald William Book, 75, with two counts of grand larceny and two counts of receiving or transferring stolen goods.
The Exponent-Telegram said Book was freed on $10,000 bail after an appearance Tuesday morning in Harrison County Magistrate Court.
Defense lawyer Jerry Blair asked the court to consider his client's age and long, productive career.
Harrison County Prosecutor Joe Shaffer said he won't charge former Shinnston Police Chief Mike Secreto, who gave Book the rifles, but noted that the incident has cost Secreto his job. The City Council fired him in January.
Secreto had served as chief since 2001 and had been an officer since 1993.
Book's arrest is the latest in a string of problems for the tiny department, which serves a city of 2,200.
Earlier this week, sheriff's deputies charged Officer Charles Roscoe Henning, 38, with stealing drugs. News outlets said he faces seven counts of possessing a controlled substance by fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.