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Couple stole valuables during open houses, police say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A husband and wife pretended to be potential homebuyers to gain access to two open houses in Charleston, where police said they stole jewelry and other valuables.

Tonya Kay Ramsey and Billy Ray Ramsey, both 39 and of Charleston, were charged with two counts of grand larceny on Tuesday. The couple could be connected to at least one more theft that police know about.

Police arrested Tonya Ramsey on Tuesday morning. She posted bail and was later released from South Central Regional Jail. Police are still looking for Billy Ramsey and have been unable to find him.

Charleston Police Cpl. C.J. Rider responded to a report of a larceny at 5605 Kanawha Ave. on Friday, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. The homeowner, Grace Falbo, told Rider she noticed several pieces missing from her jewelry box when she went to put some on.

Falbo had placed her house on the market the week before and Hurricane realtor Scott McGhee held two open houses there on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16.

Rider recalled a similar theft reported after an open house on Staunton Avenue, according to the complaint. The homeowner reported an Apple Macbook Pro and a gun missing on Oct. 15.

Rider went and spoke to the homeowner at Staunton Avenue, who said she showed the house to a "Tonya Dingess and Billy Belsdio," according to the complaint.

Rider called McGhee, who provided the names of everyone he showed Falbo's house to on Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. Among the name were a "Tonya and Billy Dingess," according to the criminal complaint. McGhee had written down the couple's license plate while they toured the house. Rider checked the plate numbers and discovered the car belonged to the Ramseys, according to the complaint.

Rider and Charleston Police Detective J.A. Hunt later went to the address on the account at 2804 Noyes Ave. and met Tonya Ramsey. She agreed to speak with them at the Charleston Police Department.

Tonya Ramsey allegedly admitted to taking jewelry and a laptop from two different houses. She denied taking any firearms and said her husband, Billy, took one gun she knew about, according to the criminal complaint. Tonya Ramsey said her husband sold the gun to someone on the street in Cedar Grove. She gave police the laptop and returned some of the stolen jewelry.

Grace Falbo later called Cpl. Rider and said she found the rest of her jewelry at the Cash For Gold store in South Charleston. Rider met her there and recovered the remainder of the pieces.

While there, Rider discovered that Tonya Ramsey had sold several other gold jewelry pieces on Oct. 7. The pieces were sent out and melted.

Rider learned that a third home on Kanawha Avenue had been burglarized following an open house in early October. The homeowners there said several gold jewelry pieces came up missing.

Anyone with information on Billy Ramsey's whereabouts is asked to call the Charleston Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.

 


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