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Thieves target Marshall County drilling workers

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Police Chief Tom Mitchell said a natural gas industry worker staying at a local campground now has to figure out how to get all the way back to Utah because a “pack of thieves” stole a wallet that included his driver’s license.

“Pipeliners and out-of-state workers are getting victimized by people stealing from them,” Mitchell said. “We have a pack of thieves targeting them.”

On Wednesday morning, Moundsville officers took reports of multiple thefts and break-ins at the Varlas Trailer Park and Campground on 12th Street, with another theft reported from one of the vehicles parked at the Marshall County Fairgrounds. Because natural gas drillers and pipeliners often work 12 hours per day or longer out in the fields, Mitchell said this allows thieves plenty of opportunity to act.

“People know how long they work. Then they come home and want to go to sleep because they are tired from working all day,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said thieves are taking purses, copper, iPods, and other items that they can turn around for a quick profit. One of the reports also indicates someone stole a handgun.

He said he and his officers do not yet have any suspects for the thefts, but said they continue investigating the matter.

“We have some people we are looking at, but I would not go so far as to call them suspects just yet,” Mitchell said.

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