Two residents of Wheeling, W.Va., were charged Friday by state police in connection with two burglaries at homes in West Finley Township almost two years ago.
Benjamin Edward Senkbell III, 29, and Nicole Dawn Porter, 26, were charged with two counts each of burglary and theft.
An elderly resident of Laidley Run Road called state police Nov. 5, 2011, after discovering that a 32-inch television, jewelry and silverware valued at $2,700 had been stolen from her home. The burglars, later identified by police as Senkbell and Porter, apparently entered her home through an unlocked back door.
A neighbor told police a man and woman had come to her home that same day, claiming they were looking for a friend who was having a bonfire but got lost. The neighbor did not recognize the name given and a short time later saw the two in the driveway of the victim’s home.
Three days later, a resident of McGuffey Road reported a burglary at his home. A window along the side of the front door was broken, and the burglars reached inside to open the door. Stolen were a 32-inch flat-screen television, laptop computer, digital camera, digital picture frame and a jewelry box containing jewelry.
The same day the second burglary was reported, state police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by Senkbell and Porter. They gave conflicting stories about how they obtained the items the trooper saw in the vehicle.
The vehicle was seized and a search warrant obtained. Police said the victims were able to identify the items found in the vehicle as having been stolen from their respective homes.
Charges will be sent by summons from the office of District Judge Ethan Ward. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 19 before Ward.