Fayette County hit by two robberies
Authorities say two similar robberies occurred within hours of each other over the weekend in Fayette County.
Fayette deputies were dispatched just before 4 a.m. Saturday to a home on W.Va. 61 in the Deepwater Mountain area to investigate a robbery.
The female homeowner told deputies that two people, a man and a woman, knocked on her door and called out that their car had broken down. They asked to use her telephone.
When she started to open the door, they forced their way inside and brandished a handgun and a hammer. They demanded "money and pills," according to a statement by the Fayette Sheriff's Office. They looked through the woman's prescription medications but didn't take anything. She said they took her purse, which contained an undisclosed amount of cash.
She described the two as a medium-built white man, between 6 feet and 6-feet-5, and a slender white woman about 5 feet tall with dark hair. The man was last seen wearing dark clothes and a ski mask. The woman wore a scarf around her face.
The man was armed with a semi-automatic pistol and the woman with a wooden claw hammer. They fled in a small car.
Deputies were dispatched hours later to a similar incident. Investigators were called out at about 7:50 p.m. to a home on Wolfe Lane in the Wriston area, about four miles outside of Oak Hill.
The elderly homeowner told deputies a man came to his house and knocked on the door, telling the homeowner his car had broken down and that he needed help. When he opened the door, the man pulled a ski mask over his face and forced his way inside with another man.
The two then demanded money.
The 84-year-old homeowner tried to defend himself with a handgun, but the suspects wrestled him to the ground and disarmed him. The man then armed himself with a metal flashlight and struck one of the robbers in the head several times.
The suspects took the elderly man's wallet and fled the scene.
Deputies recovered a black plastic pellet gun at the scene, believed to have been dropped by the suspects as they fled.
The homeowner suffered minor injuries but declined medical treatment. He described the suspects only as "two white males," telling deputies he didn't get a good look at them.
"This is the second incident of this type in the W.Va. 61 area in the past twenty-four hours," Sheriff Steve Kessler said in a release. "Although the two incidents are similar in some regards, we are unsure at this time if the same perpetrators were involved in both incidents.
"I would like to caution homeowners - if someone comes to your door who you don't know, particularly after dark, then don't open the door. Immediately call 911 and let the individuals know that you have done so.
"Unfortunately, it's just not safe anymore to open your door to a stranger asking for assistance," the sheriff said.
Both incidents are under investigation.
Anyone with information can contact the Fayette Detective Bureau at 304-574-4305 or Crime Stoppers at 304-255-7867. Tips also can be submitted at www.fayettesheriffwv.net or via the Fayette sheriff's Facebook page.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.