CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Clarksburg man has been arrested after police said he attempted to steal nearly $450 worth of merchandise from Lowes before leading officers on a pursuit in Harrison County.
A criminal complaint filed by the Clarksburg Police Department stated that on Sunday, May 24, just after 3 a.m., officers responded to a reported breaking and entering in progress at Lowes on Emily Drive. The complaint stated that a suspect had been seen fleeing the scene in a white box truck away from Lowes toward Anmoore.
The complaint stated that officers pursued the truck and after activating their lights and sirens, the truck still failed to stop. Officers said they deployed stop sticks at the bottom of Emily Drive, which flattened one of the truck’s tires.
The truck continued for approximately 20 minutes, running stop signs and driving on the wrong side of the road through blind corners, according to police. Officers said the pursuit continued throughout East View.
On Happy Hollow Road the driver, who was later identified as Thomas Phares, 29, of Clarksburg, lost control of his vehicle and left the roadway, which got the box truck stuck, police said. Phares was then placed into custody, according to the complaint.
The complaint stated that Phares had entered Lowes, which was closed at the time, through an unlocked loading dock an attempted to take $449.10 of merchandise before being confronted by the night stocking crew. Police said Phares then fled through the locked front glass doors by breaking them with a metal grate, causing an unknown dollar amount of damage.
Phares has been charged with fleeing with reckless indifference, entering without breaking and shoplifting (second offense), according to court documents. He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail and his bail has been set at $30,000.