CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Randy Halstead became angry after learning that several brass light fixtures bought by his Kanawha City recycling business had allegedly been stolen from the West Virginia Veterans Memorial.
Police say they found the woman who allegedly sold the fixtures with Halstead's help and from information he entered into a national database that tracks missing and stolen items.
On Nov. 18, a woman brought five brass light fixtures to Halstead's business, Capitol Recycling. She said the fixtures came from inside a swimming pool that was being demolished, Halstead said.
He had no reason not to believe the woman, and bought the fixtures for a total of $2,000. Before completing the transaction, Halstead explained to the woman that he needed her driver's license to enter into the national database.
Kanawha County officials paid for access to the database, called Leads Online, just last year. Lawmakers passed ordinances requiring county pawnshop owners and recyclers to enter everything they buy into the database. Police can then search the database for items that people have reported stolen or missing.
Capitol Police Officer M.S. Swecker went to Capitol Recycling last week with photos of the stolen brass light fixtures. Halstead said he immediately handed the fixtures over to Swecker after learning they came from the West Virginia Veterans Memorial. He then pulled up security video of the woman inside his store.
"We recognized her," Halstead said. "She comes here quite often."
Through the information Halstead entered into Leads Online, Swecker identified the woman as Amanda Suzanne Young, 32, of Charleston. Young was arrested last week and was charged with receiving or transferring stolen goods, a felony. She is currently in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bail.
The investigation is continuing and more arrests could be made, said Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.