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Mark Manchin’s state car recovered in Boone

By Eric Eyre, Staff writer

A state vehicle assigned to School Building Authority Executive Director Mark Manchin was found Tuesday in Boone County.

Manchin’s car had been missing nearly two months after he reported it stolen from the parking garage at the Charleston Marriott Town Center.

Boone County sheriff’s deputies recovered the state-owned Ford Fusion in Bloomingrose Tuesday morning and arrested two suspects.

“[The deputies] called me and told me they found my car,” Manchin said. “They said it’s a little dinged up, but it’s still drivable.”

David Griffy Sr., 51, and Marra Altizer, 24, will be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, said Chad Barker, Boone County’s chief deputy. Griffy and Altizer were being held at Southwestern Regional Jail.

“The vehicle’s got some damage inside and out,” Barker said. “It’s definitely not worth what it once was.”

In February, Griffy was charged with stealing a pickup truck in Boone County.

“He was out on bond for stealing another vehicle,” Barker said. “He’s a longtime problem of ours.”

Deputies received a tip that Griffy was driving a stolen car, after he was arrested Monday night and charged with a bond violation and unrelated theft charges, Barker said.

They found Manchin’s state vehicle parked outside Griffy’s house in Bloomingrose.

“We’re trying to get it figured out who took the vehicle,” Barker said. “[Griffy’s] not going to give a statement. He won’t talk.”

Barker said his deputies talked to Charleston detectives Tuesday, trying to determine whether Griffy and Altizer were in Charleston the night Manchin’s state vehicle turned up missing.

“There’s some other circumstances we’re sharing that may help break the case,” Barker said.

The Charleston Gazette first reported on Manchin’s missing state-owned vehicle Monday night, after the city of Charleston released a police report about the incident.

On April 27, Manchin told Charleston police that he left the vehicle’s doors unlocked and the keys under the seat. Manchin said he parked the car in the Marriott garage before having dinner with several School Building Authority members at The Chop House restaurant on a Sunday night.

Surveillance video does not show Manchin’s vehicle entering or leaving the Marriott parking garage the night Manchin reported the theft, according to the police incident report.

Manchin reviewed the footage with a Marriott loss-prevention office. A Charleston patrol officer also reviewed the video.

“They should do a debriefing to find out how that guy got it out of there without anybody seeing it,” Manchin said Tuesday.

Barker said the recovered car’s vehicle identification number matched the number on Manchin’s missing vehicle, after deputies checked a national crime database.

“We didn’t know it was stolen until we ran the VIN number on the vehicle,” Barker said. “It had a different license plate on it, but it’s the same vehicle.”

The 2012 Ford Fusion formerly had a green license plate, signifying it as a state-owned car.

Manchin’s car is being kept at the Sheriff Department’s impound lot in Madison. Manchin said he plans to drive there today to retrieve it.

“I’m going to get it back,” said Manchin, who starts a new job as superintendent of Harrison County Schools next week. “It’s a lot of relief. The car will come back to the state now, and I’ll move on.”

Reach Eric Eyre at eric.eyre@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.


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