FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. -- Fayette County investigators have arrested two men accused of being a serial thief and his accomplice in a multi-county theft ring.
Clinton Hall, 37, of Mossy and Vernon Estep, 52, of Gallagher were arrested Friday in Fayette County after another theft, according to a press statement issued by the Fayette Sheriff's Office.
The investigation began in July when the Custard Stand in the Lochgelly area of Oak Hill was broken into and the safe robbed. Deputies found several other businesses around the county also had been the victim of breaking-and-entering and their safes had been looted.
Investigators concluded the incidents were related based on the similar nature of the crimes. Based on surveillance videos, witness statements and following up on several leads and tips, investigators began to focus on a "known professional thief," later identified as Hall, as a possible suspect, according to the release.
Detectives began an intense surveillance operation on Hall to document his movements and his possible involvement in criminal behavior.
Their efforts produced results Friday night when Hall's vehicle was spotted parked in Smithers. Detectives began checking with businesses in the area and found the Taco Bell restaurant had been broken into.
Deputies stopped Hall's vehicle near the bridge to Montgomery and conducted a search, finding $2,500 that had been stolen from the restaurant and burglary tools, including a saw, camouflage clothing, masks and gloves, the release said.
Hall was charged with one count of breaking and entering and one count of grand larceny in Fayette County. He also faces two counts of breaking and entering and grand larceny in Boone County.